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Reneging on a Promise Essay

Billy Tushoes recently received an offer to join the accounting firm of Tick and Check LLP. Billy would prefer to work for Foot and Balance LLP but has not received an offer from the firm the day before he must decide whether to accept the position at Tick and Check. Billy has a friend at Foot and Balance and is thinking about calling her to see if she can find out whether an offer is forthcoming.


1. Should Billy call his friend? Provide reasons why you think he should or should not. Is there any other action you suggest Billy take prior to deciding on the offer of Tick and Check? Why do you recommend that action? Billy should call his friend to ask how the recruiting process is going, but not specifically ask if he got the job offer or not. I believe that it will give him an unfair advantage than the other applicants because the other applicants are still waiting as well. I think that it’s reasonable to call to ask when he should be expecting a call from the Foot and Balance LLP, but not to ask if he got an offer from the firm.

Part B

Assume Billy calls his friend at Foot and Balance and she explains the delay is due to the recent merger of Vouch and Trace LLP with Foot and Balance. She tells Billy that the offer should be forthcoming. However, Billy gets nervous about the situation and decides to accept the offer of Tick and Check. A week later he receives a phone call from the partner at Foot and Balance who had promised to contact him about the firm’s offer. Billy is offered a position at Foot and Balance at the same salary as Tick and Check. He has one week to decide whether to accept that offer. Billy is not sure what to do. On one hand, he knows it’s wrong to accept an offer and then renege on it. On the other hand, Billy hasn’t signed a contract with Tick and Check and the offer with Foot and Balance is his clear preference because he has many friends at that firm.


1. Do you think it is ever right to back out of a promise you gave to someone else? If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not? I don’t think breaking any promises is right to do but I think some promises are more important than others. I feel that people feel obligated to keep promises with certain people based on their importance. For example, a boss or a best friend, a person can feel obligated to keep their promises with those people instead of others who are not as significant. 

2. Identify the stakeholders and their interests in this case. The partner at Foot and Balance is definitely a stakeholder in this case because he is interested in Billy and wants to hire him. Billy is a stakeholder because of his interest in Foot and Balance LLP. And Tick and Check LLP is a stakeholder because they are interested in Billy as well.

3. Evaluate the alternative courses of action for Billy using ethical reasoning. What should Billy do? Why? I believe that Billy should stick with Tick and Check LLP. Billy already knows that he it is wrong to renege on a commitment. Even though he did not physically sign a contract, he did verbally accepted the offer. It would be unprofessional of him to accept the offer and then take it back a day later just because he got an offer from Foot and Balance. A verbal commitment is just as significant as signing the contract.

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