Introduction This case study analysis describes Sam Adams dilemma, whether or not to give a favorable recommendation to the board of directors for his friend and former colleague Bud Wizer. Sam was told by corporate that Bud listed him as a personal and professional reference on his job application. This triggered emotional turmoil in Sam because his friend was allegedly fired for sexual harassment from his last position. Sam’s values and moral standards will be tested during this analysis.
Will Sam be loyal to his friend and say yes, or will he be loyal to his company and tell what he thinks he knows? I will use Professor Badaracco framework, questions and test to analyze Sam’s dilemma and provide recommendations for what he may say to the board of directors.
I will start by using question number one from Badaracco’s framework, which way of proceeding will get me the best net-net consequences? In this first step we are asked to explore the pros and cons of Sam’s ethical dilemma to determine who will win, who will lose and at what cost. As I create my list I see that the risks are significant.
If Sam decides to tell corporate about the alleged Sexual Harassment information about Bud and the information is not true or proven, corporate may view Sam in a negative light. If he does not tell corporate and they find out later that he knew his reputation could be tarnished and the level of trust that corporate has for him now will decrease. If Bud is not given an opportunity to work it will have an effect on him and his family. The benefits could also be significant, if Bud is hired, the corporation could gain an outstanding employee, and Sam would have helped his friend get a job and even perhaps a bonus.
It appears that the greatest benefits and least harm would be if Sam did not say anything. Sam does not know for sure if the act was committed and Bud said the victim came to apologize and she did not feel harassed. The next question is about rights of individuals and groups that we cannot violate. In a democratic society, the legal requirements reflect the basic values of citizens so there is an overlap between law and morality (Hosmer, 2011, p. 62). Everyone has the right to the truth and everyone also has the right to privacy. The board of directors has a right to know the truth in
regards to the employees and Bud has a right to his privacy. If Sam mentions the alleged sexual harassment to the board of directors he may be in violation of Bud’s individual rights. The third question of what message do I want to send about what I stand for about ideals and principles going forward? While in this position, Sam is being observed to see how he handles any situation but especially one that involves ethics and morals. When the board of directors or Bud is speaking of Sam he want to send the message that he wants to send is that he has integrity.
He is trying to do the right thing and would want others to know that. What will work in the world as it is? Sam could take a chance to be bold and not tell the board of directors about Bud’s alleged sexual harassment incident. He could take the risk and Bud could end up being the best employee on the staff. Badaracco gave three tests to help choose an effective solution. The first is the newspaper test. As Sam makes his way to the board room he has to decide whether or not to tell about the alleged incident and be ok with the decision that was made knowing that he has now gone public.
He needs to make sure that this is the best possible choice. Sam needs to make sure that what he saying has merit. The sexual harassment charge has not been proven. Sam should consider how he would feel if someone had information on him that was hearsay and reported it someone of significance. Sam should ask himself at this point if it would be fair to mention this to the board of directors without having all of the facts. The last test is the obituary test, the right way of dealing with the issue. The dilemma, what should Sam do. There is not time to call Bud and have him speak with the board of directors directly.
He will need to buy more time because morally he can’t give a recommendation without knowing all of the facts and he can’t let his friend down without knowing all of the facts. He should give Sam a stellar recommendation based on his professional performance only. Sam does not have any facts of what happened and should not bring it up to the board however; he should speak with his friend about the harassment case to clear the air. Reference Badaracco, J. L. , Jr. (2002). Defining moments: A framework for moral decisions. Harvard Business School Faculty Seminar Series.
Retrieved from http://cb. hbsp. harvard. edu Hatcher, D. , Sommers N. (2011). A writer’s reference (7th ed. ). Boston: Bedford/St, Martins Hosmer, L. T. (2011). The Ethics of Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach (7th ed. ). New York, N. Y. McGraw Hill/Irwin. Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Pauli, R. A. (2011). A question of loyalty: A case study. Retrieved from University of Maryland University College, College Park, Graduate School of Management and Technology website: http://tychong. umuc. edu/tycho/AMBA/610/1109/9042/conference/launchconferencing.