Ethical Dilemma Problem Solution Essay

August 12, 2021 by Essay Writer


An ethical dilemma is a situation where people are forced to make a choice between two options available to them. It is necessary to explain that regardless of the option an individual takes both options have negative consequences.

However, the individual chooses an option that have few negative impacts on the event or people involved (Adair 2013). This essay uses an ethical dilemma case study to illustrate the issues involved in this context and how they are managed without causing a lot of harm to all the parties involved.

Example of an Ethical Dilemma

Engrave Computers is a technology based company that specializes in producing software that enable managers to monitor the performance of employees and predict their productivity. This software also gives companies opportunities to explore various issues that affect the performance of employees and propose solutions to these challenges. I am the manager of this company and Ben has been very influential in developing this software.

The company does not demand that employees should hand over their production rights and other patent requirements to it; in fact, it encourages its workers to be creative and invent software that will boost its sales and retain the right to distribute, sell, share or change the particulars of their inventions (Thomas 2010).

The company gives workers this privilege to motivate them to continue rendering their services without feeling the company or managers are misusing their talents.

The company is registered to take part in an international exhibition where the winner is awarded a quarter of its working capital and offered a free one year advertising space in an international broadcasting channel. I am confident that Ben will make the company proud since he has always won this contest.

On the other hand, this company experienced significant losses last year because most employees reported to work late or were absent without seeking permission from the human resource management (Pollock 2011).

As a result, an urgent meeting was convened and it was agreed that absenteeism and lateness will not be tolerated and anyone culpable will be suspended for three months. Workers were requested to read the new regulation and append their signatures to show that they agreed on the terms stated by the human resource department.

Last week the company secretary was suspended since she failed to observe this regulation and this was a warning that no one will be spared. Ben reported to work yesterday after being absent for four days and claims that he was not feeling well. Everybody is keen watching what will happen to him as pressure continues to pile on the human resource department to take corrective measures against him (Saaty 2011).

However, this department felt that this case was beyond its abilities and forwarded the matter to my department. I forwarded the issue to the board of directors but I was directed to solve it within 24 hours.


This situation was not as easy as it looked due to the considerations that I had to observe before taking any step. There were challenges regarding all alternatives available to me at that moment. First, being a manager means I had to a stake step that would ensure the operations if the company would not be affected. This means that the operations of the company would go on despite the measures I would have taken.

Secondly, I was supposed to show other employees that no one is above the policies of this company and if anyone commits a mistake the individual must be punished. Thirdly, it was necessary to show employees that I was committed to implement the policies regarding lateness and absenteeism (Arthur 2009).

The human resource department had suspended the secretary and thus I was supposed to follow the same path. Lastly, I was supposed to ensure that the company participates in the oncoming exhibition since it had already confirmed its participation.

Ethical Steps

The policies of this company were changed to ensure that an employee who comes late is suspended for three months. This was motivated by the poor performance witnessed in the last financial year and no one was willing to experience another financial crisis. Therefore, I suspended Ben for three months to ensure other workers become obedient and follow the regulations provided to them.

The following are ethical considerations that guided me to take this step. This decision was motivated by the need to ensure that no one commits this mistake against regardless of the position of an individual in the company (Haberfeld 2012). Ben was an indispensable employee but his actions were considered to have economic, legal and social impacts on the company and other workers.

First, the suspended secretary would have complained of double standards if I would have ignored suspending Ben. This would have led to a legal tussle between her and the company. Secondly, other workers would have noticed that Ben was not punished and this could crate differences among them (McCarthy 2011).

Thirdly, I knew that we were going to miss the prestigious prize on the scheduled event; however, this was not as important as other activities of this company. In addition, the occasion is held after every five years and this means that it would have significant impacts on this company.

Therefore, my decision was economically responsible since it focused on the long term gains the company will make if employees are punctual and attend all activities as the company directed them (Baaske 2009).

The company will never make losses due to absenteeism or lateness even though it was going to miss the award. In addition, it was ethical since it showed that I was promoting professional discipline in the company. It is advisable to follow the rules and policies regarding work to ensure that workers respect with them without favoring some workers (Farrell 2012).

The decision also promoted respect for the rule of justice and equality at the company. It is necessary to explain that the secretary was suspended after failing to meet the requirements of the company; therefore, it would have been very unfair to exempt Ben from punishments yet they are all employees of this company.

Even though, I had the option of punishing him after his presentation this was not a logical alternative since it was bound to affect him during that period (Harrison 2010). Therefore, my decision was appropriate and I will hot hesitate to suspend another worker in case the individual violates the policies of this company.


Ethical dilemmas are common in life but individuals must make wise choices that will not affect their relationships or work. It is necessary to ensure that they make informed choices and if possible they should consult their friends before taking any step. These dilemmas put our faith and commitments to test; therefore, they should be approached very carefully.


Adair, J 2013, Decision Making and Problem Solving: Creating Success, AMACOM Books, New York.

Arthur, W 2009, The Thinking Manager’s Toolbox: Effective Processes for Problem Solving and Decision Making, South-Western College, Connecticut.

Baaske, K 2009, Arguments and Arguing: The Products and Process of Human Decision Making, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Farrell, O 2012, Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, Cengage Learning, South-Western, Connecticut.

Haberfeld, W 2012, Police Leadership: Organizational and Managerial Decision Making Process, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Harrison, F 2010, The Managerial Decision-Making Process, South-Western College, Connecticut.

McCarthy, B 2011, Justice, Crime, and Ethics, Hastings House, Washington.

Pollock, J 2011, Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice: Ethics in Crime and Justice, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Saaty, T 2011, Theory and Applications of the Analytic Network Process: Decision Making with Benefits, Opportunities, Costs, and Risks, Wiley, New York.

Thomas, S 2010, Theory and Applications of the Analytic Network Process: Decision Making with Benefits, Opportunities, Costs, and Risks, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

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