Skill Sheet
Activity #1: The Ethical Dilemma of Self-Driving Cars
Activity #2: How to Save a Life

Ethical Decision Making Module (with Skill Sheet)

In-class Exercise
July 30, 2019
Entrepreneurship, Ethics & Social Justice, Human Resources & Organizational Behavior, Strategy & General Management
ethics, trade positions, Decision-Making, long-term success, Ethical Behavior
Area of Study: 
Business and Management
Target Audience: 
Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Executive Education
Average rating: 

This module includes: 1.) curriculum related to CLC’s ethical decision making model including the ETHICS acronym, teaching notes, reflection questions, and more; 2.) two classroom exercises to help students practice the model and apply their learning; 3.) the ETHICS Skill Sheet (i.e., rubric) for measuring student growth and helping educators guide the debriefing process after the exercises have been completed. 


Laura Nash outlined 12 possible questions an individual or group can ask when facing an ethical dilemma. ETHICS focuses on 6 of these questions, and we encourage readers to explore her full essay. First, ensure the problem definition by asking questions, exploring root causes, and coming to a shared agreement of what is at stake. Next, attempt to trade positions (empathize) and explore how someone on the other side of the issue would experience what’s happening. Another key question is “How do loyalties affect you?” In other words, how is your decision-making affected by friends, colleagues, the organization, and so forth? Likewise, peer and institutional pressure is a powerful force that must be recognized. As you explore your options for moving forward, be clear about your intentions and the perceptions others will have. Also, it’s important to clarify the downsides of each option and ultimately, explore what society will say. Do you feel comfortable with your course of action serving as a headline in the news? In the end, it’s critical to understand that practicing ethical behavior is essential to your long-term success.


Collegiate Leadership Competition is a nonprofit organization focused on researching leadership development and using that knowledge to create resources that will help move the field of leadership education forward. CLC’s underlying theory is that leadership skills are primarily strengthened through deliberate practice.