Wallace-Pekel - Salvation Army Canada

Wallace & Pekel: 10 Step Method of Decision-Making

1. What are the known key facts in this situation?

2. List the major stakeholders (those affected by the situation). What do they value and want as desired outcomes?

3. List the underlying drivers that are causing or exacerbating this ethical problem.

4. List, in priority, the ethical principles and core values that should be upheld in the decision.

5. List who should have input to or be involved in making the decision.

6. Brainstorm possible alternatives to resolve the situation. Then test each alternative against the three review-gate criteria listed below. Only alternatives that pass all three review-gates become viable alternatives worthy of further consideration.
   (a) Prevents or minimizes harm to the above stakeholders.
   (b) Upholds the ethical principles and core values identified in Step 4.
   (c) Is a good, workable solution to the entire situation.

7. Select the preferred alternative and build a worst-case scenario (made up of things that could go wrong in implementing your preferred alternative) and determine how it affects each stakeholder.

8. Add a preventative ethics component to your preferred alternative that deals with the underlying drivers identified in Step 3. The best preventative ethics component for any organization is familiarity with the organization’s values.

9. Decide and build an action plan that incorporates the best choices you’ve made in all the above-listed steps.

10. Evaluate your chosen alternative (modified to deal with underlying drivers) against the ethical checklist below.

                 Effective Decision Making Test                 
Rating Scale   

      Not at all ............. Totally yes      

Relevant Information Test

How we obtained as much information as possible
to make an informed decision and action-plan for
this situation?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Involvement test

Have we involved as many as possible of those who
have a right to have input to, and actual involvement
in, making this decision and action-plan?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Consequential test

Have we attempted to accommodate for the
consequences of this decision and action-plan on any
who could be significantly affected by it?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Universal ethical principles test

Does this decision and action-plan uphold the ethical
principles (Step 4) that we think are relevant to this

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Fairness test

If we were any one of the stakeholders in this
situation, would we perceive this decision and action-
plan to be fair, given all of the circumstances?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Universality test

Would we want this decision and action-plan to be
‘universally applicable’ so it would apply to all in
similar situations, including ourselves?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Preventative test

Does this decision and action-plan prevent or
minimize similar situations from happening again?

              1   2   3   4   5   6                

Light-of-day (or 60 Minutes TV Program) test

Can our decision and action-plan stand the test of
broad-based public disclosure in which everyone
knows everything about both what we decided and
how made the decision?

              1   2   3   4   5   6