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Ethical Dilemmas at Work

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1. Have you ever been exposed to an unethical use of power? If so, what type of power was involved? What are some examples of positive and negative politics in your workplace?
2. When an organization decides to downsize, what ethical issues should a manager consider? How would you handle a situation when your ethical principles conflict with your organization's ethics?
3. What ethical issues must you consider when engaging in political behavior (at work)? How do these ethical dilemmas increase stress?

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1. Have you ever been exposed to an unethical use of power? If so, what type of power was involved? What are some examples of positive and negative politics in your workplace?

To get started, note that workplace politics can involve many factors such as race, age and gender. In many places of employment, those factors are still reasons by which people are judged rather than by their ability.

An example of an unethical use of power in the workplace is when a supervisor intimidates an employee in order to get that employee to do what he/she wants the employee to do. For example, a female ...

Solution Summary

The answer to the following questions and the best ways to adress them lies below:

1. Have you ever been exposed to an unethical use of power? If so, what type of power was involved? What are some examples of positive and negative politics in your workplace?
2. When an organization decides to downsize, what ethical issues should a manager consider? How would you handle a situation when your ethical principles conflict with your organization's ethics?
3. What ethical issues must you consider when engaging in political behavior (at work)? How do these ethical dilemmas increase stress?

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Ethical Dilemma and Work Hours

Barbara Montgomery is a first-year auditor for Coppers and Rose, a large public accounting firm. She has been assigned to the audit of Lakes Brothers, a clothing retailer with retail outlets throughout the United States. This audit has proved troublesome in the past, and during a staff meeting preceding the audit, Robert Cooley, the supervisor on the audit, says: "We are going to be required to work several hours 'off-the-clock' each week until this audit is completed." He also observes that the client is putting a great deal of pressure on the firm to maintain an acceptable level of fees.

Barbara has just been to staff training school, where it was emphasized that not charging a client for hours actually worked is a violation of Coppers and Rose's employment policy, a violation that could cause her to be dismissed. She also knows that only staff personnel are paid overtime and that supervisors are evaluated on successfully completing audits within allowable budgets.

Barbara discusses the issue with John Reed, a second-year staff accountant. John says, "Don't worry, if you go along nobody will find out and Robert will give you a good evaluation." John also says that Robert is very highly regarded by the senior members of the firm and is likely to be promoted to manager in the near future.

Required:
a. Is it ethical for Barbara to work hours and not charge them to the client?
b. Use the six-step approach outlined in this chapter to resolve this ethical dilemma.

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