Public Relations Ethics     Online Resource Center
Theories Application Resources Contact Bibliography

Situational Ethics


Situational ethics suggests that decision-making should be seen as independent of specific circumstances. Instead of following the same set of rules in each decision, practitioners engaging in Situational ethics decide on a case by case basis.

Positives of this approach:

  • Can be helpful when there are several conflicting ethical obligations.
  • Useful when blindly following rules, as suggested by Deontological systems, would result in considerable harm.

Examples of Situational Ethics in Action:

  • Choosing not to comment to the press when releasing the information could result in considerable harm to one's client or the public. The conflicting ethical responsibilities in this instance include honest and prevention of harm.
Definition
Teleological
Deontological
Situational