Thesis

96 Chapter 4 Based on the above literature, and after fourteen rounds of adaptations in which all authors participated, we reached a consensus and developed the following definition of MCS: Moral Craftsmanship: the development of an open and reflexive attitude toward what it means to act good in complex situations, and the ability and skills to put this into practice. Moral judgments and actions are always considered in relation to other stakeholders, one’s own profession, the organization, and society as a whole. A moral craftsman acknowledges the moral uncertainty and the different perspectives inherently present in practice and is committed to dealing with it in a constructive and responsible manner. Like Kunneman (2012), who stresses the ‘active process of developing and sustaining’, we believe MCS requires professionals to engage in a continuous development process. Sennett (2009) also emphasizes the necessity of constant involvement. What we missed and added to the definition is the need for openness. Morality of individuals in organizations cannot exist only within the individual’s mind but needs to be present in dialogue with others (Abma et al., 2009). It requires professionals to open up and be open-minded when doing so. Being open-minded entails being respectful regarding different opinions and ideas of others. Sennett (2009) states that craftsmanship includes the ‘necessity to develop a dialogical relation with the ‘material’; the ethics of craftsmanship’. In moral contexts, this dialogical relation should consist mainly of constructively relating to all parties involved in a complex situation. We, therefore, highlight all parties in the definition. Furthermore, Kunneman only mentions developing and sustaining an attitude, whereas we included in the MCS definition all domains mentioned by Sennett regarding craftsmanship: skill, commitment, and judgments. Schön’s vision of the ‘messy problems’ of ethics explicitly shows how dealing with moral situations is not easy, even when one is morally competent. A moral craftsman needs to understand and accept this; in our opinion, this is so important that it needs to be reflected in the definition. MCS requires individuals to ‘deal with increased confusion’ and the ability to ‘consider the varied situational aspects’ (Falender & Shafranske, 2007, p. 234). Awareness of the consequences of actions and accountability for one’s judgments and actions are essential to constructively dealing with complex situations.

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