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I'm a student in Facility Management (Rotterdam University, Netherlands) and I'm currently working on my thesis, which I think is very relevant to EVOKE. I'm going to make a Moral Facility Walkthrough (a decision making business model that doesn't exist yet) that will help people in making strategical and tactical decisions when dealing with moral considerations in Facility Management (of course much of it is also applicable to other disciplines).


Over the time that I’ve been here I’ve seen many fantastic ideas by the people on EVOKE, so I’m very curious what you all think about morality. If someone is willing to discuss my thesis in depth (for example by MSN Messenger or Skype Chat), please email me at rickvanderpluijm@hotmail.com. If I’m allowed to use your comments as quotes in my thesis, please give permission in your comment. I look forward to the discussion. I’ve got a couple of questions to get the discussion started.


1.   
1. How would you explain morality to someone that has never heard about it?
2.
What do you think about deontological ethics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deontological_ethics)?
Should deontological ethics or teleological ethics be the approach used in the walkthrough?

3. Which moral values are most important (to you)? Why?
4. What should a walkthrough on morality offer the manager that is reading it?

5. 
In which areas of morality should the research be limited (to be able to finish the thesis before the deadline)?
6. How much immoral behavior is acceptable?
How do you determine if someone is being immoral?
7. Which situations have you been in, that are relevant to morality?
What did you do?
8.
Which resources/links should I use in my research?
9. How should moral guidelines be visualized and how should they be made public?

10. How would you structure such a walkthrough and what kind of writing and layout would you use?

Which aspects of morality have you noticed in EVOKE and how do you think we can help people make more moral decisions?

Please discuss. Thank you!

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Hi

I'm doing Business Administration in Australia, and I like the thought of a business model with ethics. In the current business paradigm, ethics is only looked at an influence that can be ignored when neccessary. So to have it within a model would be quite interesting. I think to make the model perfect, you would need to take into account a large range of cultures, and their views on issues that can occur in the workplace. At the same time, you have to make sure people don't take advantage of it.

1) I'd explain morals depending on the person's intelligence. If they are highly intellegent or rational, I would explain to them that morals are a framework of existance, that looks towards the greater good, for in autarky, people are more worse off and will probably die. An example of this is the death rates since the evolution of man, which was around 70%, to now, which is a lot lower, because we came together as a societies.
To a less intelligent person, I would explain the basics of empathy through a 'I hurt you and you don't like it' kind of scenario. I would then explain that people feel the same way you do when they are hurt by you, and then explain that morals are what keeps is in an environment where we can live peacefully, and less painfully.

2) It is good to have a sence of duty, but strictly sticking to them causes patriotism and alliances that can't be broken through rationality. In short, irrational alliances basially puts people in a position to be abused, by whoever is calling the shots.

3) Probably not killing each other- basically because it's unnecessary.

4) A walkthrough of morality would leave people wondering why their beliefs are not included. Rather, have a framework that tells them what not to cross- basic rules that are talked about in HR, PR, and basic common sense.

5) Limit the study of morality in this case to business decisions, so death, conflict resoultution, sanctity of life- things that are common to most religions, and apply in business environments.

6) Immoral behaviour is justified depending on your moral framework. Eg, ends justifies the means morality states immorality is ok if it is for the greater good. Circ***tancial morality states it is dependent on the situation, but immorality is generally wrong.
Immorality is known through self judgement and reflection, as well as a comparison of the action to the social norms

7) I haven't really faced any moral delemas.

8) Read many religious books, and reference them to support your position on a moral stance within the framwork. For example, if you decide on a conflict resoulution policy, quote these books and what they say about conflict (the ones leading towards peace, not stuff like Psalms 2:9-12 =P btw I've read a few texts =D)

9)It would be hard to visualise a model like this, but it could be made public if you publish your thesis in a business journal. Also, when you get a job, ask them to apply it and see if it is practical. If it works at a big firm, it will get attention.

10) A walkthrough would have to cover a few of the common moralirty issues in the workplace. I'd cite examples, and probably do it in essay form.
Thank you a lot for a fantastic reply! This really helps. I hope I will get more replies like that.

Janak Patel said:
Hi

I'm doing Business Administration in Australia, and I like the thought of a business model with ethics. In the current business paradigm, ethics is only looked at an influence that can be ignored when neccessary. So to have it within a model would be quite interesting. I think to make the model perfect, you would need to take into account a large range of cultures, and their views on issues that can occur in the workplace. At the same time, you have to make sure people don't take advantage of it.

1) I'd explain morals depending on the person's intelligence. If they are highly intellegent or rational, I would explain to them that morals are a framework of existance, that looks towards the greater good, for in autarky, people are more worse off and will probably die. An example of this is the death rates since the evolution of man, which was around 70%, to now, which is a lot lower, because we came together as a societies.
To a less intelligent person, I would explain the basics of empathy through a 'I hurt you and you don't like it' kind of scenario. I would then explain that people feel the same way you do when they are hurt by you, and then explain that morals are what keeps is in an environment where we can live peacefully, and less painfully.

2) It is good to have a sence of duty, but strictly sticking to them causes patriotism and alliances that can't be broken through rationality. In short, irrational alliances basially puts people in a position to be abused, by whoever is calling the shots.

3) Probably not killing each other- basically because it's unnecessary.

4) A walkthrough of morality would leave people wondering why their beliefs are not included. Rather, have a framework that tells them what not to cross- basic rules that are talked about in HR, PR, and basic common sense.

5) Limit the study of morality in this case to business decisions, so death, conflict resoultution, sanctity of life- things that are common to most religions, and apply in business environments.

6) Immoral behaviour is justified depending on your moral framework. Eg, ends justifies the means morality states immorality is ok if it is for the greater good. Circ***tancial morality states it is dependent on the situation, but immorality is generally wrong.
Immorality is known through self judgement and reflection, as well as a comparison of the action to the social norms

7) I haven't really faced any moral delemas.

8) Read many religious books, and reference them to support your position on a moral stance within the framwork. For example, if you decide on a conflict resoulution policy, quote these books and what they say about conflict (the ones leading towards peace, not stuff like Psalms 2:9-12 =P btw I've read a few texts =D)

9)It would be hard to visualise a model like this, but it could be made public if you publish your thesis in a business journal. Also, when you get a job, ask them to apply it and see if it is practical. If it works at a big firm, it will get attention.

10) A walkthrough would have to cover a few of the common moralirty issues in the workplace. I'd cite examples, and probably do it in essay form.
Dear Rick.
1. How would you explain morality to someone that has never heard about it?
I am yet to come across a person or group or community or culture that does not have its own set of usually highly developed mores, values and ethics. Of course, there are variants and commonalities but the concepts of morality and ethics exists everywhere. It may be possible to find an ethne or a sociolgically less studied group that has no word for morality or indeed for ethics but the absence of such words does not mean the absence of the concept - it will still exist directly in a group of other words or embedded in various practices. As such my problem would be in explaining my concept of morality to another.
I would need to reflect on it and write it down and for a walk through I would suggest he live with me for a few days and see if I adhere to my own code of honour.
2. What do you think about deontological ethics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deontological_ethics)?
Should deontological ethics or teleological ethics be the approach used in the walkthrough?
Teleologicalethics and deontological ethics could both be used. Why not both and not an either -or?
3. Which moral values are most important (to you)? Why?
Love, truth, peace, hope, humility (saying I don't know when I don't, being ready for dialogue and settlement), bravery, empathy, compassion, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control (which I don't have), engagement, persistence, perseverance,steadfastness, steadiness, endurance, integrity, dignity, playfulness, humour, multi-facetedness, plurality,wisdom, discretion, prudence, discernment ...... it goes on :)
4. What should a walkthrough on morality offer the manager that is reading it?
sensitivty and sense, sensibility, views on bias and prejudice , opinions on the necessity of being flexible and form and knowing how to differentiate on when to be what, etc.. mainly the idea that the spirit of the law is greater than the letter
5. In which areas of morality should the research be limited (to be able to finish the thesis before the deadline)?
only one or two
the subject is too vast
6. How much immoral behavior is acceptable? How do you determine if someone is being immoral?
immorality and amorality has to be accepted only to the point where it is not detrimental to self and others - this is a thorny issue
i can only give an example
smoking
use smoker's cabins in a workplace, not ban smoking
however if a worker is a chain smoker and one fears for him suggest counselling
allow passive smoking only by those who dont mind
stick to the rule of non-smoking in other places
time management would be another factor here
if the smoker is allowed a five minute break every half hour then the other owrkers must be given the same privilege
practical application of morality is always difficult
the idea would be of limiting damage and harm and hurt for health purposes, not of addressing root issue of concept of is smoking right or worng. good or bad etc...
that could be done on a one on one basis only
if the worker says it is right leave him alone
in the framework of the rules
if he says no but i smoke offer help
if he doesnt want help leave him alone
if he wants help send him for de-addiction
same with others
those who want smoking banned entirely can be put into same teams but not always because everyone needs to learn to work with everyone else
since passive smoking is more dangerous than active smoking offer them more protection
pregnant women and children should not be affected
counselling is again the answer
as i told you it is complex - i cannot sort all of it out here
7. Which situations have you been in, that are relevant to morality? What did you do?
isnt one always in situations that are relevant to morality? i try to be value based - i win some, i lose some, i keep tryng to fit my inner notion of a quality value based life , i fall short, but the effort makes life worth living
i am a realist
8. Which resources/links should I use in my research?
any book on ethics -starting fomr aristotle and spinoza to....the bible, all the scriptures of all the rleigions, arthashastra....
9. How should moral guidelines be visualized and how should they be made public?
through humour and simple media like comics, anything that has movement, vitality and pictures....
10. How would you structure such a walkthrough and what kind of writing and layout would you use?
simple writing, colurful and playful layout and start with defintion and history, go on to specifics, then application clues and ifnally to open endedness
Dear A.V.Koshy

1) the purpose of having the explination, is to provide a basis of argument for the rest of the thesis. Not only that, but this is making a business model/framework, and businesses have the choice, and often do, ignore morality (see James Hardey in Australia)

2) If you read my response, you will see the argument against deontological ethics.
It is good to have a sence of duty, but strictly sticking to them causes patriotism and alliances that can't be broken through rationality. In short, irrational alliances basially puts people in a position to be abused, by whoever is calling the shots. => see religious cults as an example

Also guys check http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_...
Another fantastic reply! Wow, I'm getting a lot of useful information with this discussion. Thank you!

A.V.Koshy said:
Dear Rick.
1. How would you explain morality to someone that has never heard about it?
I am yet to come across a person or group or community or culture that does not have its own set of usually highly developed mores, values and ethics. Of course, there are variants and commonalities but the concepts of morality and ethics exists everywhere. It may be possible to find an ethne or a sociolgically less studied group that has no word for morality or indeed for ethics but the absence of such words does not mean the absence of the concept - it will still exist directly in a group of other words or embedded in various practices. As such my problem would be in explaining my concept of morality to another.
I would need to reflect on it and write it down and for a walk through I would suggest he live with me for a few days and see if I adhere to my own code of honour.
2. What do you think about deontological ethics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deontological_ethics)?
Should deontological ethics or teleological ethics be the approach used in the walkthrough?
Teleologicalethics and deontological ethics could both be used. Why not both and not an either -or?
3. Which moral values are most important (to you)? Why?
Love, truth, peace, hope, humility (saying I don't know when I don't, being ready for dialogue and settlement), bravery, empathy, compassion, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control (which I don't have), engagement, persistence, perseverance,steadfastness, steadiness, endurance, integrity, dignity, playfulness, humour, multi-facetedness, plurality,wisdom, discretion, prudence, discernment ...... it goes on :)
4. What should a walkthrough on morality offer the manager that is reading it?
sensitivty and sense, sensibility, views on bias and prejudice , opinions on the necessity of being flexible and form and knowing how to differentiate on when to be what, etc.. mainly the idea that the spirit of the law is greater than the letter
5. In which areas of morality should the research be limited (to be able to finish the thesis before the deadline)?
only one or two
the subject is too vast
6. How much immoral behavior is acceptable? How do you determine if someone is being immoral?
immorality and amorality has to be accepted only to the point where it is not detrimental to self and others - this is a thorny issue
i can only give an example
smoking
use smoker's cabins in a workplace, not ban smoking
however if a worker is a chain smoker and one fears for him suggest counselling
allow passive smoking only by those who dont mind
stick to the rule of non-smoking in other places
time management would be another factor here
if the smoker is allowed a five minute break every half hour then the other owrkers must be given the same privilege
practical application of morality is always difficult
the idea would be of limiting damage and harm and hurt for health purposes, not of addressing root issue of concept of is smoking right or worng. good or bad etc...
that could be done on a one on one basis only
if the worker says it is right leave him alone
in the framework of the rules
if he says no but i smoke offer help
if he doesnt want help leave him alone
if he wants help send him for de-addiction
same with others
those who want smoking banned entirely can be put into same teams but not always because everyone needs to learn to work with everyone else
since passive smoking is more dangerous than active smoking offer them more protection
pregnant women and children should not be affected
counselling is again the answer
as i told you it is complex - i cannot sort all of it out here
7. Which situations have you been in, that are relevant to morality? What did you do?
isnt one always in situations that are relevant to morality? i try to be value based - i win some, i lose some, i keep tryng to fit my inner notion of a quality value based life , i fall short, but the effort makes life worth living
i am a realist
8. Which resources/links should I use in my research?
any book on ethics -starting fomr aristotle and spinoza to....the bible, all the scriptures of all the rleigions, arthashastra....
9. How should moral guidelines be visualized and how should they be made public?
through humour and simple media like comics, anything that has movement, vitality and pictures....
10. How would you structure such a walkthrough and what kind of writing and layout would you use?
simple writing, colurful and playful layout and start with defintion and history, go on to specifics, then application clues and ifnally to open endedness
I've seen that TED Talk (I'm a big fan of TED), it's great.

Janak Patel said:
Dear A.V.Koshy

1) the purpose of having the explination, is to provide a basis of argument for the rest of the thesis. Not only that, but this is making a business model/framework, and businesses have the choice, and often do, ignore morality (see James Hardey in Australia)

2) If you read my response, you will see the argument against deontological ethics.
It is good to have a sence of duty, but strictly sticking to them causes patriotism and alliances that can't be broken through rationality. In short, irrational alliances basially puts people in a position to be abused, by whoever is calling the shots. => see religious cults as an example

Also guys check http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_...
Dear Rick,

The morality of humans can be very fuzzy. I am very fond of the lecture by Dan Ariely, that shows, how easy we can be influenced by circ***tances, etc. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_cod...
Doing measurements, setting up a good laboratory in which humans can show their behaviour, without being philosophical about it. ... Which circ***tances make us behave untrustworthy? I don't feel able to give answers to your questions straightway.
Thank you for the reply. I like the Talks by Dan Ariely and I also read his book, it's very interesting what he has to say (and he gives great examples).

Thys van der Veer said:
Dear Rick,

The morality of humans can be very fuzzy. I am very fond of the lecture by Dan Ariely, that shows, how easy we can be influenced by circ***tances, etc. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_cod...
Doing measurements, setting up a good laboratory in which humans can show their behaviour, without being philosophical about it. ... Which circ***tances make us behave untrustworthy? I don't feel able to give answers to your questions straightway.
Does someone have anything to add to the discussion so far? Responses are greatly appreciated!
Hi ^_^ it's been a while =D, sorry got uni exams comin up

I wanted to ask, how does your thesis deal with the fact that different religious and non-religious frameworks of ethics have different responses to each other? For example, Hinduism, says sex is part of the pleasures in life, and should be enjoyed, where as Judaism, Christianity and Islam say it should only be done in marriage, and can be concidered as a sin, and societies curent framework is more lenient to extra or premarital sex (in that we don't go throwin stones at them =P)

How will the walkthrough deal with these differences, and how is the right response worked out

Rick van der Pluijm said:
Does someone have anything to add to the discussion so far? Responses are greatly appreciated!
My thesis focusses on (Facility) Management, so it doesn't mention that example (morality has so many aspects that I had to choose a focus in order to ever get the research finished). I do make a note that there are differences between religions, but I have three paragraphs that deal with differences, they are: differences in personalities, differences in interests and differences in cultures (these are three types of differences that influence morality, but there are ways to handle them; a discussion about religion too often leads to conflicts, so if they are looking for guidelines on that, the best shot they have is at "differences in culture"). There are some difficult subjects in morality, but I try to stay as objective as possible and I'm mostly looking for similarities instead of differences (for instance: compassion is important in almost every religion, see the Charter for Compassion). This is the table of contents I'm using:

Moral Facility Walkthrough
1. Introduction
1.1 Preface
1.1.1 The current workenvironment (how popular is morality in business)
1.1.2 The goal of the walkthrough
1.1.3 Reading guide
1.2 Exploring morality
1.2.1 Understanding morality (what is morality)
1.2.2 Ethic values (what is important in morality, for example: honesty, authenticity, etc.)
1.2.3 Point of view in morality (for example: deontological ethics instead of teleological ethics)
1.3 Performed research
1.3.1 Previously performed research (research done by others before I started my research)
1.3.2 Method of research (how I did my research)
1.4 Summary
2. Guidelines
2.1 Collecting moral information
2.1.1 Law and guidelines (what is already available that we have to abide by, for example: child labor regulations)
2.1.2 Within your own organization (how to use the socratic method to find the morality of your own organization)
2.1.3 Within other organizations (benchmarking, etc.)
2.2 Formulating moral guidelines
2.2.1 Identifying the most important guidelines (how to establish which aspects your company finds most important to emphasize)
2.2.2 Making priorities (making a company profile that indicates the imporance of each moral value)
2.3 Dealing with differences
2.3.1 ... In personalities
2.3.2 ... In interests
2.3.3 ... In cultures
2.4 Judging morality (supervision and sanction)
2.4.1 Supervision and trust
2.4.2 The line between morality and immorality (paying extra attention to people that are near the line)
2.5 Summary
3. Application
3.1 Implementation
3.1.1 Leading (how to communicate and command as the supervisor)
3.1.2 Examples (which are available and how to use them)
3.1.3 Costs and benefits
3.1.4 Criteria of succes and failure
3.2 Promoting moral behavior
3.2.1 Internal and external communication (how to market moral behavior inside the company and show that on the outside)
3.2.2 Being interactive with it (how to use social media, participation of the employees, etc. to get people motivated in acting morally)
3.3 Further research
3.3.1 Expanding this research (how a website will be used to keep the research updated)
3.3.2 New areas of research (what other aspects of morality could be researched)
3.3.3 A word of advice to researchers (some tips based on what I learned during this research)
3.4 Summary
Portfolio of sources

Feedback is very welcome and I'm looking for someone that is willing to draw visualizations for the walkthrough or the website (I'm not planning on making money of it, so I can't pay for it, but more than 50 companies are already interested in the doc**ent which I will release for free, so it will probably get you a lot of exposure since I will mention your name in my doc**ent a couple of times).


Janak Patel said:
Hi ^_^ it's been a while =D, sorry got uni exams comin up

I wanted to ask, how does your thesis deal with the fact that different religious and non-religious frameworks of ethics have different responses to each other? For example, Hinduism, says sex is part of the pleasures in life, and should be enjoyed, where as Judaism, Christianity and Islam say it should only be done in marriage, and can be concidered as a sin, and societies curent framework is more lenient to extra or premarital sex (in that we don't go throwin stones at them =P)

How will the walkthrough deal with these differences, and how is the right response worked out

Rick van der Pluijm said:
Does someone have anything to add to the discussion so far? Responses are greatly appreciated!
=O interesting!!! I look forward to reading it!

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