Business Ethics 210
Prof. Bryan Mecklenburg
Case Study – An Ethical Dilemma
Keys points of the case:
Jackie, a young star with a prominent voice who gets picked up by a professional recording label after performing at a national talent competition. Overwhelmed with excitement, thinks it is a dream come true to start a career with a lucrative contract. Meets and has an intimate encounter with her soon to be manager, Kevin. Months go by as their relationship begins to flourish but soon she starts to hear rumors that Kevin has helped a new girl in the legal department get her position threw their own personal relations. Jackie has suspicions that Kevin may be having other deeper interactions with this new girl. Jackie’s suspicions turn out to be true and she is devastated. She obviously breaks off the relationship with Kevin but cannot afford to lose him as her manager. Time goes by with awkward silence between the two but eventually Jackie decides to be professional with her career and continues to keep Kevin on as her manager. This lasts awhile until Kevin starts to make inappropriate sexual advances towards her. She tries to laugh it off but as he continues she threatens to make a formal complaint to legal. He does eventually stop but has stopped all efforts to promote her music thus making it very difficult for her to continue on with her success. She eventually does decide to make a complaint with legal, there is where she runs into Leslie, the girl that Kevin had got the position for in legal. She tells her, “even I believed you, you didn’t report this relationship which goes against our superior-employee ethics code”. So either she had the choice to let the matter go or to make a complaint which would in turn have her also reprimanded. She is forced with an ultimate decision and eventually decides to do nothing.
Summarized Ethical Issue at Heart
The unethical issue at heart is the manager, Kevin, making inappropriate gestures towards Jackie after they had broken up. Doing so with Jackie’s vulnerable position of whether or not to report the issue which would do more harm than good. Or to leave the matter alone and just hope that Kevin would leave her alone. Neither option are better suited for Jackie who in this case is the victim, which leads to the question of appropriate ethical responsibility of the company.
Details that are missing in the case
A 3rd party perspective on the details of both parties. More detail as to what accusations were being made towards Kevin and Jackie. Whether Kevin had proper ethical training.
List of all stakeholders who would be involved with this ethical dilemma.
Board of Trustees
Three stakeholders and the concerns they may have.
Don’t like how they are working for an unethically sound company. Thinking how it could happen to them if they were put in the same situation If the problem was ever made public how would my job security look? Would this company’s name stain my resume?
How will my portfolio look if this artist is to become successful with another producer? Will this story become public?
Will my shares plummet from this company’s bad publicity?
What would happen to the company outlook if the entire company was to go thru proper corporate ethical training? Could it be a success?
Board of Trustees
This will look bad if the story was to made public
How must will it cost to perform proper corporate training on proper ethical behavior? Do the managerial levels need to be reevaluated?
Could the company be looking at a lawsuit?
Perform corporate training at all levels reviewing proper ethical conduct Fire the manager
Workout an undisclosed settlement
References: Ethical Dilemma. (n.d.). Forbes. Retrieved , from http://www.forbes.com/2004/06/23/cx_da_0623topnews.html
Advantages of Training Employees About Work Ethics. (n.d.). Small Business. Retrieved , from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-training-employees-work-ethics-44472.html
Ethics Training in the Workplace. (n.d.). Ethics Training. Retrieved , from http://www.rctm.com/ethics.htm
Institute For Ethical Awareness. (n.d.). Institute For Ethical Awareness. Retrieved , from http://www.instituteforethicalawareness.org
The Online Business Ethics Training Program | Ethics Training Guide. (n.d.). Ethics Training Guide. Retrieved , from http://ethicstrainingguide.org/
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