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Employee’s Role in Ethical Dilemma Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jun 12th, 2020


Moral and practical business functions are incorporated into the greatly diverse values of organizational settings to make businesses succeed (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2014). The incorporation of individuals and systems is significant to organizational success since it works in support of the requirements of managers and leaders; the individuals mainly accountable for managing business ethics. Some ethical and social responsibilities that confront a business encompass employment, confidentiality, remuneration that befits comparable value, collective bargaining, and favoritism by age (choosing either the youthful or the old), gender, ethnicity, or religion. This paper analyzes the case study of Jan, an employee at the Human Resources Department at JLT Cincinnati, who has information concerning a recently made resolution by the leadership of the company to transfer the accounting section to JLT Wichita.

Jan’s Ethical Dilemma

Jan is aware of the possible layoffs at JLT that could affect Steve, and she knows the expenses that Steve, unaware of the resolution by the leadership, is about to make in building a house near the company with the intention of reducing commute time. Jan’s ethical dilemma is whether to let Steve know of the imminent downsizing before executing his plans or not. Jan’s position provides access to information that she is not supposed to share with other employees. If her boss realizes that she has disclosed that privacy, it would justifiably question her capacity to maintain the information private in the future and her capability to have trustworthy personal affiliations with individuals she manages. In this situation, Jan should act as a middle ground; that is, Jan should give Steve a hint by telling her that she cannot disclose it, but advise him in the most real terms to wait for a month or two prior to going ahead with his plans. In that case, Jan would not risk her job, and Steve would receive the information, at least sufficient to progress with carefulness and not to later have a feeling that Jan stood silent while he made monetary dedications that she in secret knew he would lament.

Employees’ Roles/responsibilities in Ethical Situations

Unethical conducts increase in situations where workers have a feeling that their activities will not hurt a possible victim and that their co-workers will not criticize their actions (Floyd, Xu, Atkins, & Caldwell, 2013). Another factor that contributes to workers operating unethically in business is the promotion of a culture of everybody for himself by the leadership of the organization. When encountering an ethical situation, an employee can consider the situation, its consequences, and the benefits of upholding moral principles to make the most suitable decision.

The Organization’s Role/responsibility in Ensuring Ethical Practices

An organization can encourage ethical practices by having Human Resource systems that reward such behavior with the aim of helping employees make suitable decisions when faced with ethical situations. An organization can also ensure regular training of employees in ethical judgment making to make sure that every section of the organization operates ethically (Baden, 2014).

Summary Paragraph

Managing ethics in business is a critical function that embraces remarkable benefits for the business (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2014). Jan is aware that the decision by the leadership could lead to the layoff of her friend, Steve, since he is the latest worker to join the company, and seniority is at all times a key aspect in downsizing endeavors at JLT. Jan is thus in an ethical dilemma of whether to inform Steve of the looming layoff or not.


Baden, D. (2014). Look on the bright side: A comparison of positive and negative role models in business ethics education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 13(2), 154-170.

Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2014). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.

Floyd, L. A., Xu, F., Atkins, R., & Caldwell, C. (2013). Ethical outcomes and business ethics: Toward improving business ethics education. Journal of business ethics, 117(4), 753-776.

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IvyPanda. "Employee's Role in Ethical Dilemma." June 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employees-role-in-ethical-dilemma/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Employee's Role in Ethical Dilemma." June 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employees-role-in-ethical-dilemma/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Employee's Role in Ethical Dilemma'. 12 June.

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