Fuzzy Decisions [#1] - The Clueless Stakeholders
This is the first in a series of three blog posts from EPP member Ken Rosenbaum. This series is designed to inspire discussion about fuzzy decisions that we face in our work. We hope you will share responses and join the discussion in either the comments below or on the EPP LinkedIn discussion for this topic.
Some people think that ethical issues are rare in our profession, encountered once in a career, or, if we are lucky, never. Actually, we make decisions reflecting our ethics in almost every process or project we conduct.
Most of these are easy and automatic. Do we lie about our qualifications? Do we promise particular outcomes? Do we bill for work we didn’t do? No.
Some of these decisions are more difficult. The rules to follow are not always clear. In this series of blog posts, I invite a conversation on some of the fuzzier decisions we face.
The Clueless Stakeholders
You are engaged to conduct a process involving routing a highway bypass around a rural town. Many stakeholders are involved, and most are fairly sophisticated, but the local farmers’ group is just not up to speed. Compared to the others at the table, the farmers have a weaker grasp of the issues, the process, and the implications surrounding the building of the bypass.
What is your obligation, if any, to address the capacity of the farmers? What actions would be ethically necessary in order to assure quality of the process? What would be permissible? How far can you go and still remain neutral?