Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details


Robinson, D., Yeh, K. (2007) Managing ethical dilemmas in non-profit organizations, 15 pp.

© Copyright David Robinson and Kuang Yeh, 2007.


In dealing with ethical issues, non-profit managers are often faced with dilemmas that defy a simple choice between right and wrong. When there is no obvious way of prioritizing responsibility, and no precedent to emulate, resolution of such dilemmas demands careful consideration of stakeholder expectations when looking at the ethical options, so that decisions satisfy not only the immediate problem but also align with the organization’s mission, values and ethical code. This paper follows research that examined the types of ethical dilemmas experienced across thirty-seven non-profit organizations, where it was found that a reliable method for depicting and resolving dilemmas was needed. The paper uses three cases, drawn from non-profit organizations in Australia and Taiwan, to introduce the Business Ethics Synergy Star (BESS) - a technique that allows non-profit organizations to concisely depict a dilemma and then resolve it, and a step-by-step process associated with BESS, known as the Seven Cs.



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