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Case Study: Wiley Riley - 2
I would like you to consider John’s various decision options when he became aware of
what Edna was doing. He might opt to say or do nothing. Please analyze the decision to
say or do nothing about Edna's poor performance. Indicate who that could affect and
what possible consequences could come from that decision. Come up with other decision
options, and analyze them. Identify the Ethical Principles that are violated by each.
What would be the best thing for John to do in this situation? Why? Is it ethical?
Compare your analysis and findings with those at the end.
Ethics Analysis Form
Decision Option:
Stakeholders
Principles
Consequences
Other Decision Options
We have determined that it is necessary for John to do something about Edna using
company time for her personal business. Unless there is a written policy addressing
problems like this, it could be seen as unfair and too harsh if he terminates Edna.
We don’t know, but it’s likely that there is no written policy about the use of company
time for personal business. This might be the ideal time to institute such a policy and let
all employees know exactly what the policy is, why it is needed, what it means to them
personally in their particular positions, and what the consequences will be for failure to
adhere.
Edna could be talked to about what is and what is not allowed at work and what she is
expected to accomplish on company time. The new policy could be explained to her.
Edna's behavior is inappropriate at work, and she could be referred to a grief counselor.
Conclusion
Ethics cannot be separated out from the rest of our daily business as we go through life.
We've seen that there are numerous ethical dilemmas in each of the segments of the case
study, just as there are in everything we do in our lives.
Ethics have to do with our relationships with others. If we were the only creature on
Earth, lying, cheating, stealing, and being mean wouldn't matter too much. So what if we
make ourselves miserable? So what if we wreck our planet?
We're not the only creature on Earth, though. Our behavior affects others, and we do not
have the right to hurt others. Civilized people agree on rules that are made to protect
individuals so that we can live together without fear. We will also have to agree on rules
to live by that protect our environment. All of the ethical principles will be violated if we
destroy our planet, and then we won't need ethics anymore because there won't be any
relationships left!
KEY – Ethics Analysis Form
Wiley Riley
Decision Option: What should John do about Edna's abuse of company time?
Stakeholders
Principles
Consequences
John, G.M.
To do nothing:
 If John does nothing, Edna will
(Decision
Integrity
continue stealing time from the
Maker)
Loyalty
company. She doesn't do enough work
Fairness
and that will continue. John is
Commitment to
Excellence
Leadership
Reputation and
Morale
Accountability
To do something:
Fairness
Concern & Respect
for Others
Commitment to
Excellence
Leadership
Reputation &
Morale
Accountability
Edna






Other
Employees




responsible for Edna's performance and
her poor performance will affect him
when he doesn't have the books in
order. He will be making decisions
without the necessary data.
By doing nothing he can avoid a scene
with Edna. He can also avoid having to
possibly hire a replacement for the
position.
If he doesn't do anything, other
employees could assume that it's okay
to steal company time. Productivity
could fall and John could lose the
respect of employees.
It is obvious that John must do
something. The question becomes,
"What should John do about Edna?"
His options are (1) tell her to not use
work time for personal business, (2)
give her a verbal warning, or (3)
terminate her.
If John does nothing, Edna will most
likely continue to steal company time.
Her work output is low and may get
lower.
Her performance is unlikely to improve
if John does nothing.
Depending on what John decides to do,
Edna could either find herself
unemployed or her performance might
improve.
I John does nothing about Edna using
company time in a chat room, other
office personnel could find out that she
does this and think they can too.
Other managers might see that John
doesn't keep Edna on task and might
think they don't have to keep their own
employees on task. Productivity could
fall.
Employees might think management is
pretty loose and unworthy of respect.
Depending on what John does, other
employees may get the message that it
is not okay to steal company time.

FOI


If John deals too harshly with Edna,
other employees might think it is unfair
and morale could fall, which can
negatively affect productivity,
performance, and turnover.
If John does nothing, FOI remains at
risk because of Edna’s neglected
bookkeeping.
If John acts decisively and solves the
problem, FOI’s books will be in order
and their course back on track.
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