Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2016Peer reviewed

Operationalising and incorporating ethical considerations into a tool for multi-criteria decision making

Ekener, Elisabeth; Larsson, Aron; Finnveden, Göran; Sandin, Per


In this study, an existing method for ethical analysis was extended by adding aspects of human rights and global distributional issues as framed by the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A procedure for incorporating these issues together with environmental, safety and cost considerations into a decision making framework using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was devised. This includes a scoring system to convert qualitative ethical issues into semi-quantitative issues. The refined framework tool was tested in an illustrative case on the destruction of ammunition. The results showed that the extended framework for ethical analysis added value, for example as a way of highlighting ethical considerations in decision making. Use of the DecideIT software with its integrated MCDA improved the analysis by allowing for uncertain and imprecise values and estimations. The illustrative case results indicated that a combined alternative including recycling of metals and energetic materials had clear advantages over open detonation.

Published in

International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making
2016, Volume: 6, number: 4, pages: 290-315

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Administration Studies

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)