Working Ethics sets out an ethical foundation for professionals and for the professions in a modern, culturally complex society. This book will be of interest to anyone who takes seriously their obligations to society as a whole and to the individuals with whom they work.
Richard Rowson puts forward an ethical framework comprising four basic elements - fairness, respect for autonomy, integrity, and seeking the most beneficial and least harmful consequences. The three parts of the book explore:
* sources of ethical guidance such as laws, social conventions, professional codes of conduct and religious beliefs, identifying the ethical values integral to the professions
* the obligations these values give to members of the professions, and the ethical issues which arise when they are concerned to produce benefits and prevent harm, treat people fairly, respect others and act with integrity
* how these values might be incorporated into professional practice. The book ends with a brief guide to dealing with blame in a professional context and claims about rights.
At the end of each chapter, key questions encourage readers to think through the issues discussed. Rowson shows how this ethical framework can enable professionals to work more effectively, earn trust, mutual support and respect, and how it can foster democratic ideals in the workplace and community.
This book will be essential reading for professionals in the public and private sector - including teachers, civil servants, police personnel, nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers.
This book is recommended for those seeking to gain a better understanding of ethics as related to professional practice. The balance of moral philosophy, ethical principles, and practice context (brought to life by the case examples) has resulted in a book that does not overwhelm the reader with complexity - despite the fact that many issues raised and explored are highly controversial and worthy of righteous debate. The book provides many gems of wisdom about the ethical foundations of professional practice, and provides good introductory material for people wanting to engage with the challenges of cultural complexity in the contemporary environment.
Richard Rowson is a philosopher at the University of Glamorgan, Wales, where he Chairs the University Ethics Committee. Working within various organisations, he has helped develop ethics policies for education, healthcare and the police.