This past week we have been working on ethics. We were split into groups and assigned different cases dealing with ethical issues. The intent? To map out the different courses of action possible and define which is the “right” thing to do.
I noticed that our answers were predominantly “yes” or “no”.
No. It is unethical to copy interview questions for your friend that is applying for a position in your office. No. Do not take a computer from your company. No. Never send personal emails during office hours. Yes. Do the “right” thing.
But in all of this black and white, what do we do about the grey area?
Grey’s Anatomy, yes I am really talking about this, had an episode that really made me think on this subject. Of course their portrayal is a tad more dramatic, but only in the sense of acting. If we do something esscentially wrong (in the show’s case, switch a trial), but have good intent and reason, is it completely wrong?
The end results will be no different. The trial completely in tack. The motive is only to help. But there was a lie, and a switch, that make it wrong.
To some, there is only black and white. To some, only grey. I think it is important to acknowledge each of these in the PR profession.