There are three situations presented in the simulation which poses different ethical dilemmas on the part of the decision-maker. The symptoms of the respective dilemmas and their root causes shall be discussed individually because “analysis would be proper if they are able to locate the root cause of the conflict” (Lee). The Indiscreet Relationship The first situation presented was an indiscreet relationship between a boss and his secretary. The boss took the secretary along with him during business trips at the expense of the company.
He even promoted the secretary to junior account executive. This problem created a stir within the company and corridor talks went around saying that the way to make it through the ladder of success in the company was through less than ethical means. This has caused an unrest among the employees of the organization that an ethical stand should be taken. However, the decision-maker had an ethical dilemma in making his decision. The boss, Patrick, is his former friend and colleague who was the one instrumental in landing him his job.
Patrick also helped him during his early days with the company in getting hold of the ropes of the business of the company. On the other hand, company morale is going down because the employees think he is an unethical leader for allowing Patrick have his way in maintaining an indiscreet relations with his subordinate and in spending company resources in the process. This is what defines the ethical dilemma here. Sniffdog The second situation presented by the simulation which involved an ethical dilemma is the decision to represent SilverPill and their Sniffdog account.
Sniffdog is a computer program which could sneak into the user’s hardware and retrieve many confidential data without the user’s knowledge. The ethical dilemma comes in when taking the account means allowance of the intrusion of privacy while not taking the account will make the company lose a lot of money by losing the account. The fact that compounds these all is that SilverPill informed the company that they will give all their accounts to McKinley should they choose to endorse Sniffdog.
The ethics rulebook of McKinley states that the employees will maintain impeachable integrity in all its business dealings. Allowing Sniffdog to push through will not reflect well of this ethical rule. On its face, the business being dealt with here is plainly business and nothing will be objectionable about it. McKinley will just seek to endorse the Sniffdog program. However, when the program has capabilities of sneaking into private information, an ethical issue arises for McKinley will be signing itself to be part of such intrusion.
Although SilverPill promised not to use any information that may be gathered for any illegal or extralegal use nor to sell it to a third party, the fact alone that there will be intrusion into the private lives of the users of the program will already present a grave ethical issue. Thus, the root cause of the problem here is whether or not to be a part of a project which can intrude into the private lives of clients by collecting confidential information from them without their knowledge.
Think Eddie And the third situation with an ethical dilemma presented by the simulation is whether or not to reveal certain information about the program Sniffdog to Think Eddie which is a competitor of SilverPill. At this point, SilverPill is no longer associated with McKinley and has moved on to another PR company. Think Eddie has entered the picture and wants McKinley to represent them for a computer program which has the same features as that of SilverPill’s Sniffdog. Think Eddie is a big client.
And now it wants information about the Sniffdog program without, however, threats of any sanctions given to McKinley in case of non-compliance. The ethical dilemma here is whether to reveal the requested information to Think Eddie or not. Though Think Eddie did not give any threats for non-disclosure, surely there was an unwritten statement accompanying the request that non-disclosure might strain the relationship between the two companies. On the other hand, the ethics rule book of McKinley prescribes them not to hold conflicting interests.
SilverPill, though a former client, still has the right that every information given by it to McKinley be kept confidential by the latter. Because of the mentioned rule, McKinley is duty-bound not to divulge confidential client information, especially in this case where the revelation will be made to a competitor. The root cause of the problem, therefore, is whether or not to reveal information obtained from a former engagement in order to establish a better business relationship with a new engagement even though the two have conflicting interests and the former engagement has already been severed.
In all, the ethical dilemmas arise not because of the ethics rule books established by company but mostly because of moral grounds. “If doing what is right produces something bad, or if doing what is wrong produces something good, the force of moral obligation may seem balanced by the reality of the good end. We can have the satisfaction of being right, regardless of the damage done; or we can aim for what seems to be the best outcome, regardless of what wrongs must be committed” (Ross, 2007). Thus, the root of these dilemmas is simply because there are moral standards to which, companies as well as persons, must adhere.