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11.4 Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the importance of public relations as a boundary spanner who can counsel the dominant coalition on ethics and the ethical values of publics and stakeholders was emphasized. Ideally, the public relations professional should be a member of the dominant coalition who can represent the views of publics in the strategic decision making of the organization. Research on the two primary ethics roles of (a) advising on organizational values and (b) ethical counselor to management were discussed, highlighting the importance of ethical leadership and values in an organization. Means of actually conducting moral analyses in order to be a more effective ethical advisor were delineated. The moral frameworks of both consequentialism and deontology were offered as means of ethical analyses. Consequentialist analysis advises focusing on the outcomes and effect of potential decision options to maximize good outcomes and minimize bad outcomes. Deontology offered three tests through which to analyze decision options: universal duty, dignity and respect, and good intention. A case in which the role of values and ethical leadership in an organization can be seen in use in public relations and managed to help the organization achieve its goals and manage relationships was presented.