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Ethical Dilemna

A significant ethical conflict and dilemna exists when there are 1) significant value conflicts among differing interests, 2) presence of alternatives that are equality justifiable, and 3) significant consequences for "stakeholders" in the situation.

According to McNamara, ethical dilemmas faced by managers are often "highly complex with no clear guidelines, whether in law or often in religion." He lists the following examples:

  • "Our company prides itself on its merit-based pay system. One of my employees has done a tremendous job all year, so he deserves strong recognition. However, he's already paid at the top of the salary range for his job grade and our company has too many people in the grade above him, so we can't promote him. What should I do?"
  • "Our company prides itself on hiring minorities. One Asian candidate fully fits the job requirements for our open position. However, we're concerned that our customers won't understand his limited command of the English language. What should I do?"
  • "My top software designer suddenly refused to use our e-mail system. He explained to me that, as a Christian, he could not use a product built by a company that provided benefits to the partners of homosexual employees. He'd basically cut himself off from our team, creating a major obstacle to our product development. What should I do?"
  • "My boss told me that one of my employees is among several others to be laid off soon, and that I'm not to tell my employee yet or he might tell the whole organization which would soon be in an uproar. Meanwhile, I heard from my employee that he plans to buy braces for his daughter and a new carpet for his house. What should I do?"
  • from http://www.managementhelp.org/ethics/ethxgde.htm




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