The Analyst’s Dilemma (A)
This case presents a very typical situation that people encounter while working in the corporate environment. What is ethical, what is morally correct and what is just right out against the law are the questions that we all face while working in a corporate environment. Some of the ethical questions are governed by the law facing the situation. For example while working in an investment bank you most probably have access to inside information about upcoming deals that one could possibly use for personal monetary gain or you could act as a tippie and possibly share that confidential information with others. This kind of a situation is definilety governed by the law and you can actually be charged with various insider trading laws and possibly do some jail time as well. The other situation that is presented in the case is purely about ones ethical and moral standards. The analyst either has to compromise her loyalty towards her company B&B or towards her best friend Lori. While the situation presented is not a real zero-sum game, i.e., one player’s loss does not equal to the gain of the other player. When faced in a situation like this one has to think about what decisions can be made that will have the least affect on the players involved. The analyst should not look at the situation she faces as black or white. She should rather think about other options she might have to retain her friend’s loyalty while not compromising her loyalty towards her current employer. For example, Lori has already been laid off by her current employer, Universal group. The Universal group has already broken certain ethical and moral laws by not informing about the situation to B&B. So can the analyst come up with a situation where she can get Lori immediately and legally hired at B&B and convince her to share the information with B&B. In essence Lori will not have to feel guilty about not keeping the information confidential as has been laid off and the analyst does not have to lie to her employer and best friend. By looking at the positive side B&B would gain by at least temporarily hire Lori thus helping her out by getting her a job and in turn also help all the players involved on the B&B side of the transaction. This decision possibly presents more of a win-win situation for all the players involved. I personally faced a similar situation where my colleague/friend and I were involved on the same project. I caught a mistake after the deliverable went out the door to the client. The margin of error was small but could have huge potential ramifications in the future. I went through the dilemma of should I inform my project manager and the client or just let it slide as my friend could loose his job but I know the company culture where we don’t fire people very easily. We deal in a highly complicated environment and a small mistake in the numbers could easily slip. After I thought through the situation for about a day and later convinced my friend that we can potentially convince our project manager that the mistake was not completely due to his ignorance rather there was a flaw in the overall process. We presented our rationale to the manager. The end result, the company took a hit of $250,000, our credibility was questioned by the end client but in the end we still have our biggest client today, we won more business from them and overall we have improved the peer review processes for all deliverables. This turned out to be a very positive thing for the corporation and all the stakeholders in the long run.
How (Un) ethical are you?
This was a very interesting article. The sub topics discussed, implicit prejudice, over claming credit, conflict of interest, and trying harder isn’t enough is something we all go through in our day to day activities. We find our self’s in situations where we have certain pre-notions about things in our work environment as well as other day to day activities. Well as pointed out in...
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