Ethical decision-making interrupted: Can cognitive tools improve decision-making following an interruption?

Date

2019-10-28

Authors

Stenmark, Cheryl K.
Riley, Katherine
Kreitler, Crystal

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Routledge

Abstract

This study examined the effects of interruptions and the use of cognitive decision-making tools on ethical decision-making. Participants completed a structured cognitive tool, an unstructured decision-making technique, or no decision-making technique, and half of the participants were interrupted during the decision-making task, whereas half were allowed to complete the decision-making task without interruption. Results revealed that 1) participants who completed the structured cognitive tool (ACED-IT map) performed better on a number of markers of ethical decision-making, 2) interruptions reduced participants’ plan quality, and 3) participants who were interrupted, and who completed the structured cognitive tool exhibited perceptions that suggested that they felt better prepared to handle the ethical dilemma. These results could have important implications for professionals in jobs that experience frequent interruptions, particularly those in management positions.

Description

Keywords

ethical decision-making, interruptions, cognitive tool, expressive writing

Citation

Stenmark, C. K., Riley, K., Kreitler, C. M. (2020). Ethical decision-making, interrupted: Can cognitive tools improve decision-making following an interruption?. Ethics and Behavior, 30(8), 557-580. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508422.2019.1683012