An Ethical Dilemma

In an ethical dilemma, a person is required to make a choice between the two options he/she has. However, neither of the choices will resolve the situation at hand in an ethical fashion (Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2014, p. 214). Similarly, the individual’s societal and ethical guidelines will not provide a satisfactory outcome. Moreover, the assumption about ethical dilemma is that the person making the choice will abide by the societal norms and values and make the choice ethically impossible. The paper explains the ethical dilemma Angela is facing and the options she has to overcome the situation. Also, the paper outlines the responsibilities of the employees and organization in an ethical situation and what the organization should do to ensure ethical practices.

Angela’s Ethical Dilemma

Angela is a Human Resource Officer at Well Care USA; The Company would like to save the cost by downsizing its activities and relocate some of the employees. Jaden is on the verge of losing his job because of the relocation. Therefore, Angela is faced with an ethical dilemma of whether to breach the law and offer Jaden a job by relocating him to Chicago or comply with the seniority factor that will see Jaden losing the job. Similarly, Angela is not required to breach the company’s policy and inform Jaden about the changes in the organization. The organization’s ethics on information requires that the employees should not disseminate information to others unless they are asked, or it is officially announced (Lewis, 2007, p. 73). Angela is required to comply with the rules and regulations of the company, keeping in mind the ethics of the organization. Therefore, she should carry out her responsibilities in an honest, fair and respectful manner. Angela should adhere to the seniority factor that is the key to downsizing the activities of the organization. Similarly, since Jaden is a new member of the organization, Angela has the choice not to relocate him.

Employees Roles in Ethical Situation

Employees have roles to play in an ethical situation; however, there are certain factors that contribute to employees not operating ethically in business. First, employees face pressure that drives them to make an unethical move. It involves pressure from the co-workers, meet deadlines, bosses and customers. The second factor is misguided loyalty. Employees tend to do something wrong believing that they are loyal to the boss or the organization. Third, employee’s self-interest always drives him/her into making an unethical decision. Some of the employees value their personal gain, family or friends more than the rest. Therefore, in such situation, the decision they make would not be positive. Lastly, some employees operate unethically because of ignorance hence they are not sure of the right thing to do. Most of the ethical problems are complex, and most employees would find it difficult to make a decision.

When an employee is faced with an ethical decision, he/she should take the following steps. First, the employee should stop and think. It will allow the employee to avoid rash decisions and prepare him/her to make the right move. Second, the employee should clarify his/her goals. The employee should make a decision on his/her short-term or long-term objectives. Third, the employee should determine the facts (Treviño, & Nelson, 2011, p. 52). The employee should ensure he/she has adequate information. Similarly, the employee should resolve what they know and what they need to know, and also prepare for additional information. The fourth step is to develop options. Once the employee has known what he/she would like to achieve, he/she should make an option to accomplish the goals. It is important for the employee to ask for advice to broaden his/her perspective on the choices to make.

Fifth, the employee should consider the consequences (Treviño, & Nelson, 2011, p. 54). The employee is required to filter his/her choices so that neither one would violate the ethical values. Sixth, the employee should choose, monitor and modify the decision. As an ethical decision maker, he/she should monitor the effects of the choices made. If the results of the decision are not positive, the employee should re-assess and make new decisions.

The Roles of the Organization in Ensuring Ethical Practices

An organization can help its employees make appropriate ethical decisions in the following ways. First, the organization can write the code of ethics and give each of the employees a copy. The code of ethics should outline how the organization expects the employees to behave in a situation of making an ethical decision (Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2014, p. 137). Second, the organization can decide to enroll its employees in an ethical training program. The program will enlighten the employees on how to handle complex ethical situations and the company’s ethical philosophy. Third, the organization can advise the employees to consider their colleague’s perspective when making ethical decisions. The decisions made in each situation should accommodate the interests of the customer, employees, owners, and vendors. Fourth, the organization can set an example for its employees (Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2014, p. 139). Therefore, the owners and the management should apply ethics in their dealings so that employees can follow the suit.

The organization can use the following steps to ensure that it operates ethically. The first step is to set the bar (Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2014, p. 128). The organization should use its positive deviants as a blueprint for ethical values, attitudes, and behavior. Positive deviants model ethical attitudes that other people should practice and achieve. Second, the organization should motivate ethics.  The organization should ask its employees to embrace the goal of achieving the positive deviant’s social good. The employees should vividly understand the positive deviant’s social good and it should be presented in a fair process. It will allow people to view it positively and embrace it hence improving the ethics of the organization. Third, the organization should sustain the ethics. The organization should ensure that the employees’ commitment to ethics is sustained even if they are under pressure. The last step is to scale the ethics (Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2014, p. 130). Everyone in the organization should be engaged in practicing ethical behaviors. The action will ensure that ethics becomes a true reflection of the whole organization. Similarly, persuasive technology can also be incorporated to facilitate employees’ widespread commitment to the organization’s ethics.


Individuals would enjoy working in an organization with healthy ethics. Therefore, with such situation, they can create a successful institution. The paper has outlined an ethical dilemma that a human resource officer (Angela) is facing. Some of the factors that drive employees to make unethical decisions include pressure in the workplace and misguided loyalty, self-interest, and ignorance. To overcome an ethical situation, employees need to follow certain steps. The steps include stop and think, clarify the goals, determine the facts, develop options, consider the consequences, and choose, monitor and modify the decisions. On the other hand, the organization has the following role to play to ensure that the employees make appropriate ethical decisions. The organization can give its employees a written code of ethics, provide training and advice. Also, the owners and management can set an example by applying ethics in their business operations.



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

Lewis, P. S. (2007). Management: Challenges for tomorrow’s leaders. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

Treviño, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2011). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. New York: John Wiley.


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