Ethical Dilemma # 4: Stuck in the middle?
It is important to understand why ethical decisions are made in business and what, if any, factors can influence the processes/procedures and ultimately the consequences of these decisions (Crane and Matten, 2010). All business activities involve some sort of decision-making but how people integrate ethics in that process varies from person to person.
Many employees today are faced with situations that require decisions to be made based on their moral judgment. Our civil engineer was challenged with an ethical dilemma when she was put in a difficult situation with contrasting views to the Director of Public Works. On one hand the civil engineer has been quite impressed with the quality of work that has been carried out by the full time employees, yet the Director had an opposing view, suggesting that the contractors do a better job. In addition to the conflicting opinions the Director does not appear to be accommodating in any way in order to appease both the staff as well as the newly appointed civil engineer.
The civil engineer had submitted a proposal to utilise the full time employees on the next project, as she would have been able to supervise the work first hand and ensure that the quality of work was up to standard. The Director virtually ignored the proposal, and without discussing anything with the civil engineer had approached the CEO with a one sided view of the situation and moved on. The issue in question is whether or not the civil engineer should take the matter further and discuss the options with the CEO.
What is the right thing to do?
The first step in any ethical decision-making process is actually recognising that there is a moral issue. The fact that the decision in question is going to have a significant effect on the workers and that is quite relevant to both parties suggests that the decision is...