Managing Business - Ethical Dilemmas Case Studies
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Choices in life are rarely simple .
We normally do not have situations which
are to our likings.
Many times we are under the control of others, whose values may not be consistent with yours .
Many such are examples of dilemma.
What should you do when you have a value conflict?
- You are against bribes.
- You have to get a dead body released from the morgue; the relatives are disturbed; the priests have expressed that the last rites be completed before sunset.
-You have to seek professional admission; one certificate is held back for ostensible reason.
You are a staunch critic of corruption.
-What should a doctor do:
He knows that the girl getting married to his close friend has problems that would harm the marriage relationship?
Should he tell his friend by breaking the professional relationship.
- Bankers and lawyers face similar dilemmas.
You find the organisation you are working is doing an anti social activity.
Blow the whistle?
Do you keep quiet and risk society or complain and risk the job?
-You find your immediate boss using the facilities available for his personal ends.
Should you report to the higher ups?
- Were the Army officers who joined the Indian National Army of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose right?
duty to the country is greaterduty to the country is greateroror
duty to the oath of officeduty to the oath of office
We are talking of high ethics and high profits
Organizations with high ethics and low profits do not survive
Organizations with low ethics and high profits should not survive
Calls for tough minded fairness
Do you have a right to rebel against an unreasonable officer, a sadist, like the one who ordered the annihilation of the Jews in the HITLER’s Army
OR is it right to obey the orders?
Can the Tamil soldiers join the LTTE or sympathise with the movement and refuse to fight?
TO DO or NOT TO DO
Many such dilemmas exists why – there is a Many such dilemmas exists why – there is a choice or OPTION.choice or OPTION.
If there is no choice, there is NO PROBLEMIf there is no choice, there is NO PROBLEM
If it is not possible to resolve the dilemma, you are a compromiser.
You should recognise the ethical issues and think through the consequences of alternative resolutions.
You need CONFIDENCE to seek out different points of VIEW and also tough minded fairness.
A dilemma arises when an action favours ONE and harms the others.
We said “concern for others must take precedence over concern for SELF”.
and so on.
the issue could be others meaning :the issue could be others meaning :
The simple rule recommended is, bigger unit should get precedence over smaller units.
Like our cricketers had refused to play in South Africa inspite of generous money offers because of policy of Apartheid.
Long term interest should get precedence over short term.
Building a dam for water and electricity versus unsetting people living there.
Development of a new technology, without the use of CFCs for cooling in refrigerators and air conditioners
The development interest should get precedence over short term.
We have to follow a system concept which recognises that a functional unit is a part of a bigger unit and comprises of smaller units.
ORDER OF IMPORTANCE
In a human body we have a number of sub system be if it -
- circulatory -nervous -digestive -respiratory
While each sub system is a complete one, none can exist, if the body does not function.
What is true of the human body, is true of the individual and the environment?
Part of the family
• the organisation for which he works • the community• the society
When there is a conflict between an individuals interest and the interest of the bigger system the latter should prevail.
As a member of a system, one does not and cannot have the freedom to do as one likes to do purely as per dictates of ones conscience.
In a family one has to make adjustment.
There is a discipline one follows -may be meal timings and eat together to
Failure creates frown.
Value differences which seek to prevent one from pursuing ones interests.
In the by gone days Govt. jobs was much sought after.
Some could feel them as insurance.
Now youngsters get into private businesses, even consultancy or freelance business.
Tamper with records with connivance
A certain material with a different mix was imported at $2 per kg versus $12 for the standard.
The custom refused to clear, they were able to settle at 50,000, Co did not accept.
Co. went to court . They won but paid Rs3 Lakhs as demurrage and had to
buy from the local market supplies @ $14.
Harassment of customs however continued
An MNC which refused to contribute to a trust set up by a senior political leader had his project delayed by 9 months.
In real life the dilemmas do not provide very clear alternatives.
GIFTS - Chocolates to extravagant.
A sincere and competent worker catches a debilitating disease.
Is it alright to retire him from service pay him dues and ex-gratia?
Should his wife or son or daughter be given an employment so that his family does not suffer?
Is relationship between employer employee only one of employment conditions or goes beyond quality of life?
Does the employer have an obligation to bear costs of man’s illness and family’s suffering?
Should a person’s wife be given maintenance when she is divorced?
When a person falls sick should he investigate connections between disease and the work that he does?
Should company take cognizance of stress in working, assume existence and effects thereof?
It is not really wrong (ambiguous) It is not that importantOthers will understand It is expected It will not be noticed (safety) I have no choice
Each person has a different way of Each person has a different way of solving such dilemmas.solving such dilemmas.Many are by rationalisation.Many are by rationalisation.
It won’t cause harm I will be excusedOthers are doing it I am only following instructionsThis is my duty I am not responsible for what is happening
1. If the answers are all negative, then the chances are you are being ethical.
2. Is it in conflict with values deep religious beliefs?
3. Does it hurt my conscience?
4. Do I feel guilty?
5. Will I feel bad to admit in public?
The final test as to whether an The final test as to whether an action is ethical or not are action is ethical or not are answers to the following answers to the following questions.questions.
The question about religious beliefs is important because they form the basis of many values.
Conscience is the custodian of values and
therefore of ethics.
Conscience is never killed.
It only goes underground, from where it continues to generate feelings of guilt with serious psychological and physical consequences.
We have an increasing number of dilemmas due to erosion of values
Dominance of economic considerations in the materialistic world
Exposure to much ethnic multi cultural and plural society depicted in satellite
Religion has been politicised and loss of faith
Increased influence of western thoughts on younger generations
Relative ease of cutting corners
Difficulty in thinking about consequences of alternate courses
Lack of toughmindness
Different from rashness or stubbornness.
Thank you …….