Ethicability: How to decide what is right

Author: Roger Steare
Price: £17.99
Pages: 127
Publisher: Roger Steare Consulting
ISBN: 0-9552369-0-8


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This book evolved from a seminar programme developed for businesses and public sector organisations. Its purpose is twofold: to educate them in ethics as a topic and how it applies in business situations; and to challenge the reader to consider their own values and degree of courage to ‘do the right thing’ if confronted by an ethical dilemma.

The author describes ethics as ‘the study of moral philosophy which enables us to decide what is right and to behave accordingly’. A useful acronym is provided, described as a framework to ask the RIGHT questions (for example, Rules – what are the rules? Or Integrity – how do our principles guide us?)

The book is a serious read, but will appeal to anyone with a desire to understand themselves better and how they resolve conflicts of interest or principle. Although this can be a fairly dry topic, the book is made very readable by numerous quotes from famous leaders and thinkers, amusing cartoons and clear summaries at the end of each section.

I particularly liked the final 25 pages, which describe an ‘ethicability’ dilemma relating to a fictional senior HR executive who faces a decision about whether or not to disclose confidential work-related information about forthcoming organisational changes. Her best friend’s employment will be affected. This is a very real dilemma faced by many HR people in the course of their careers.

It was valuable to have a very clear, detailed analysis of the facts, feelings, alternatives, personal accountabilities and other issues that needed to be considered before a decision can be made in cases like this. For this case study alone, the book is recommended as practical and good value for money.

Useful? Four stars
Well-written? Four stars
Practical? Four stars
Inspirational? Two stars
Value for money? Five stars

Reviewed by Alyson Burn, organisation and people development manager, GlaxoSmithKline


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