Emma and Emanuel worked in an up and coming solar panel manufacturing firm. The firm started five years ago, and was making a profit, but needed several bigger contracts to expand the business. The firm put in a bid for a city government contract and was one of two businesses up for the government contract. The presentation for the final decision was due in three weeks.
Emanuel was preoccupied with a sick child leaving much of the work for Emma to do. Having pulled the entire presentation together Emma went over the final presentation with Emanuel. Since Emanuel had better speaking skills, they decided that Emanuel would present most the work and Emma would supplement information in a few areas.
The presentation was a huge hit. The firm was awarded the contract and brought Emanuel many accolades. So grateful were the owners of the business that they gave Emanuel a bonus of $5,000. Emanuel was torn because the bonus money would help with the medical bills for his son, but Emanuel knew that Emma was more deserving of the money.
Displaying ethical behavior in the workplace comes from the employee recognizing the conflicting issues between what is good for the business and what is morally uncomfortable for the employee. The conflict between these two ideas is known as an ethical dilemma. Three of the most common ethical dilemmas in a business fall in these categories conflict of interest, conflict of loyalty, and honesty and integrity.
In this learning activity, it is important to recognize the issues in conflict or the dilemma that is at stake and decide which of the three categories the dilemma fits into the best.
Task: Explain the three categories of ethical dilemmas commonly found in business and identify which one best fits Emanualâ€™s dilemma. Be sure to explain the actual issues that would be in conflict (business vs. individual) in each of the categories. Then once you have selected the category identify Emanuel’s dilemma and make suggestions as to how he might resolve the dilemma.