Conflicting Agendas: Personal Morality in Institutional Settings

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Pilgrim Press, 1994 - Philosophy - 195 pages
All of us make decisions and act on those decisions as individuals - but we also do the same as parts of larger groups, whether in a work, family neighborhood, club, church, or other institutional setting. Those two, sometimes differing, decision-making settings can place us in extremely awkward positions. How should we behave when our personal morality conflicts with our role in a particular institution or when our personal "agenda" is not consistent with the "agenda" of the larger groups? Don Welch asserts that it is impossible to separate ourselves as social beings from the institutions of which we are a part. Using real-life examples and buildings his arguments from elements as diverse as H. Richard Niebuhr and Doonesbury, Welch defines the various roles of "agenda" and how various personalities react and respond to personal as well as corporate agendas.
Welch introduces us to the "Hermit," to the "Institutionalized Person," to the "Split Personality," to the "Reformer," to the "Accommodator," and to the "Convert" - among whom we discover aspects of ourselves. Finally, Welch maintains that an appropriate response to the institution involves an ethic of "responsibility," one that does not simply abide by rules or calculate consequences to determine behavior, but one that integrates the constancy of one's own personal integrity with concern for the larger group.

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For Mom and Dad
Agendas and Ethical Reflection

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About the author (1994)

D. Don Welch is associate dean and associate professor of law, Vanderbilt Law School, and associate professor of ethics and public policy at Vanderbilt Graduate School.

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