Given the complexity of organizations, individuals nowadays are handling an increasing number of commitments. When these commitments conflict, they can turn into ethical dilemmas. However, little is known about how individuals make ethical decisions in the face of such conflicting commitments. We investigated this issue within the context of executive coaching since coaches often interact with multiple stakeholders as part of their assignments. We conducted 37 semi-structured interviews using the critical incident technique, i.e., by asking executive coaches to share a situation that was ethically challenging for them. Based on our study, we derive the metaphor of funambulism to depict how individuals make decisions in the case of conflicting commitments. By building on the systemic framework, we show that executive coaches manage an equilibrium “along the way” through an emergent system of practices, which involves making adjustments that can maintain or restore their system’s equilibrium (i.e., compatibility between commitments). This contribution alludes to the dynamic and constructed nature of ethics.

When Commitments Conflict: Making Ethical Decisions Like a Funambulist / Nizet, Jean; Fatien Diochon, Pauline; Balachandran Nair, Lakshmi. - In: MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1286-4692. - 24:1(2021), pp. 44-58. [10.37725/mgmt.v24i1.4497]

When Commitments Conflict: Making Ethical Decisions Like a Funambulist

Lakshmi Balachandran Nair
2021

Abstract

Given the complexity of organizations, individuals nowadays are handling an increasing number of commitments. When these commitments conflict, they can turn into ethical dilemmas. However, little is known about how individuals make ethical decisions in the face of such conflicting commitments. We investigated this issue within the context of executive coaching since coaches often interact with multiple stakeholders as part of their assignments. We conducted 37 semi-structured interviews using the critical incident technique, i.e., by asking executive coaches to share a situation that was ethically challenging for them. Based on our study, we derive the metaphor of funambulism to depict how individuals make decisions in the case of conflicting commitments. By building on the systemic framework, we show that executive coaches manage an equilibrium “along the way” through an emergent system of practices, which involves making adjustments that can maintain or restore their system’s equilibrium (i.e., compatibility between commitments). This contribution alludes to the dynamic and constructed nature of ethics.
2021
When Commitments Conflict: Making Ethical Decisions Like a Funambulist / Nizet, Jean; Fatien Diochon, Pauline; Balachandran Nair, Lakshmi. - In: MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1286-4692. - 24:1(2021), pp. 44-58. [10.37725/mgmt.v24i1.4497]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/196655
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