When you’re considering these scenario’s, try to pay attention to how you’re deciding what’s ethical. There is no right or wrong decision. Your goal should be to consider how you decide what’s ethical. Is there a rule that you’re using? Are you focused more on the consequences of the actions? Or are you thinking instead about how the individuals involved should stay true to their character? In your response, tell me what they should do, why they should do it, and which theory (consequence-based, rule-based, or character-based) your decision is most aligned with.
- Lynn Kingston graduated at the top of her class at law school, and she has long dreamed of becoming partner at a top corporate law firm. When she is offered an associate position with Smith & Johnson, she is elated—this is a full-service firm that serves high-profile clients, and Lynn thinks she will be able to distinguish herself here. She has always wanted to work in diverse areas of corporate law and Smith & Johnson is also known for their work, upholding the kind of ethical and moral goals she admires. Lynn also knows that the work load at Smith & Johnson is quite rigorous. Clients of the firm anticipate that their lawyers will be available at all hours. That’s what makes Smith & Johnson so successful, and during the interview process, these expectations are made overtly clear to Lynn. The hiring manager explains that associates are always on call; however, the compensation is superior. Lynn knows that she and her new husband, Brian, will be able to afford a new house and build up their nest egg on this kind of salary. However, Lynn and Brian were also hoping to start a family soon. After reviewing the maternity leave policy in the benefits handbook, she learns that the company has a very generous approach to new mothers. However, it is clear that after the eight-week leave, the employee is expected to return to the same full-time schedule as prior to the birth. Lynn is ready to commit herself to the workload, but she’s not sure if she will be so willing to commit herself to that lifestyle after the birth of a child. Lynn also considers how much she respects Smith & Johnson; as an associate, she would feel compelled to give the firm and her clients the highest level of commitment possible. She is aware that if she is promoted to a senior associate, the intensity of the time demands level off. Lynn believes that she has the talent and energy to be an essential contributor. As she contemplates saying yes to what she believes to be her dream job, she also realizes that she doesn’t want to compromise Smith & Johnson by accepting their offer if she knows, from the onset, that she might not be willing or able to be the highest-performing employee she can. What should Lynn do? (Just one paragraph)
- Maria Vasquez has called a department meeting to address a critical issue affecting Universal Product Shipping as a whole. Maria’s department seems unable to meet their deadline, and as a result, orders and fulfillment are constantly getting backlogged. Maria’s supervisor has instructed her to divine the source of the problem through team brainstorming and exercises. Maria asks everyone to share their role in the process so that the department can start determining where the bottlenecking problems are occurring. Jim, a longtime member of the team, explains that he thinks that when he passes his work onto Vincent, the files don’t move forward in a timely manner. Vincent pushes back against this assessment, saying that he has to go through Jim’s work a second time before he can add his component and pass it forward to Cassie. Jim begins to get defensive, accusing Vincent of making a claim that Jim’s age is negatively affecting his performance. Shelly, who works closely with Jim, mentions that she thinks there’s a significant portion of information that is omitted when the files get to their step in the process, and thinks that the department needs to see why those data are absent. Unfortunately, just as people start brainstorming about where that missing information is, Jim and Vincent begin to raise their voices. Maria tries to keep everyone on topic, but she realizes that Jim and Vincent seem to be at the heart of the problem. Jim’s missing information is stymieing the process, and Vincent’s tardiness with moving the files forward is further compounding the problem. Maria knows that they can’t resolve the problem without keeping these two people staying engaged in the process. However, Jim and Vincent’s interaction is becoming louder and more personal. Maria has been trained to intervene when interpersonal conflict becomes problematic, and she thinks that Jim and Vincent have crossed the line. On the other hand, she has a mandate to solve this crisis immediately, and believes that she needs Jim and Vincent to stay in the brainstorming session in order to accomplish this. What should Maria do?