Business and Economics: Collective Decision Making

Fairness in Decision Making Team Discussion Forums


Generally, human beings are concerned on what happens to others. People tend to compare the rewards they receive to those of others in the same category. When one perceives unfairness in the treatment he/she receives, sometimes he/she makes wrong decisions. The decision-maker can be affected in a way that leads to taking an action that is not in the decision-makers best interests because of how he/she perceives fairness (Bazerman & Moore, 2013). My perception of fairness has led me to making decisions that I probably would not have made if fairness was not a concern. To explain such a scenario, I will explain how my relation with my sisters was affected by what I perceived as unfair treatment.

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One of my sisters was working abroad for two years. During this time, I was responsible of her resources. She was sending money via my bank account and was giving me the directives on how to spend the money. I spent my time and energy looking for the best investments to make on her behalf. When she came back, I gave her all the accounts of her money. I offered to accommodate her and cater for all our expenses. After some time I learnt that she had given money to our younger sister for her personal needs. Again, I discovered that even after returning to the country she continued to give other family members some cash and other valuable gifts. I was upset with this information and thought to myself that whatever she was doing was unfair. Following this perception, I made a decision not to accommodate her again. In this situation I contended after discovering that other family members were given some money and other gifts. However, the perception of unfairness resulted to a decision of not accommodating her again. Arguing for Bazerman and Moores perspective, my reaction towards my sister was a payment for her unfairness.

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Discussion Based on Bazerman and Moore Argument

What is perceived as unfair and unethical can cause disagreement between negotiating parties. Individuals in most cases focus on attaining what is perceived as fair or justifiable (Bazerman & Moore, 2013). They are ready to pay to punish whatever they consider as unfair and unethical. Again, human beings are concerned about their recompense compared to that of others. Organizations should therefore be keen to ensure that salaries, bonuses, and other benefits are calculated well to make sure that the employees are comfortable with the parameters used. This helps the employees to believe that there is fair compensation, which is relatively comparable to different positions. The management should ensure confidentiality in salary data to avoid social comparison, which would raise perception of unfairness.

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Fairness and ethical issues are essential in decision-making. Some decisions are made depending on what is perceived as fair and ethically acceptable. People compare their rewards with those given to others, which is used as a judging scale for fairness. Even when an individual is not concerned with the issue of fairness, the society will use it and social comparison to judge the actions. Most of the people, including those who are not affected by unfairness, are willing to sacrifice to ensure that the unfair treatment is punished. It is therefore important to consider fairness.

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