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Document Type



Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Ronald M. Lee

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kaushik Dutta

Third Advisor's Name

David Hinds

Fourth Advisor's Name

Bruce Seaton

Fifth Advisor's Name

Debra Vander Meer


deontic conflict, moral dilemma

Date of Defense



In human society, people encounter various deontic conflicts every day. Deontic decisions are those that include moral, ethical, and normative aspects. Here, the concern is with deontic conflicts: decisions where all the alternatives lead to the violation of some norms. People think critically about these kinds of decisions. But, just ‘what’ they think about is not always clear. People use certain estimating factors/criteria to balance the tradeoffs when they encounter deontic conflicts. It is unclear what subjective factors people use to make a deontic decision. An elicitation approach called the Open Factor Conjoint System is proposed, which applies an online elicitation methodology which is a combination of two well-know research methodologies: repertory grid and conjoint analysis. This new methodology is extended to be a web based application. It seeks to elicit additional relevant (subjective) factors from people, which affect deontic decisions. The relative importance and utility values are used for the development of a decision model to predict people’s decisions. Fundamentally, this methodology was developed and intended to be applicable for a wide range of elicitation applications with minimal experimenter bias. Comparing with the traditional method, this online survey method reduces the limitation of time and space in data collection and this methodology can be applied in many fields. Two possible applications were addressed: robotic vehicles and the choice of medical treatment. In addition, this method can be applied to many research related disciplines in cross-cultural research due to its online ability with global capacity.





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