Leadership Tool #2: Moral Reasoning

Moral reasoning is our capacity to differentiate what is right and wrong. It enables leaders to make decisions for the greater good of the organization (Northouse, 2016, p. 205). This tool was selected because it addresses the notion of ethics in our decision making. By practicing moral reasoning, it helps you recognize moral issues and express moral solutions (Richardson, 2013). Moral reasoning is an umbrella for theories such as utilitarianism and altruism. Utilitarianism focuses on the greater good for the greatest number of people, whereas altruism shows the greatest concern for the interest of others.

The two main issues with moral reasoning is that of self-interest and differences in our moral framework (Richardson, 2013). With moral disagreements, the solution falls on compromise and it must reflect what each person considers to be right (Richardson, 2013).

Below you can see Kohlberg’s Theory which shows the 3 levels and 6 stages of moral reasoning (see figure 1). Kohlberg’s theory describes how we develop our moral reasoning from infancy to adulthood (Psychology Notes HQ, 2016).

moral 1.png

Figure 1. Psychology Notes HQ. (2016, Jan 20). Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/kohlbergstheory/

References

Khan Academy Medicine. (2014, Feb 25). Kohlberg moral development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onkd8tChC2A

Northouse, P. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.

Psychology Notes HQ. (2016, Jan 20). Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/kohlbergstheory/

Richardson, H. (2013, Feb 11). Moral Reasoning (Winter 2014 Edition). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasoning-moral/#1.4

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