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Ethical Behavior: Marie Allen

Allen included the circuit failure and rework problem in her report prepared for the upcoming quarterly meeting of the board of directors Due to the potential adverse economic impact, Allen followed a long-standing practice of highlighting this information. After reviewing the reports to be presented, the plant manager and his staff complained to the controller that he should control his people better. "We can not upset the board with this kind of material. Tell Allen to tone it down."

The controller called Allen into his office and said, " Marie, you'll have to bury this one. The probable failure of reworks can be mentioned briefly in the oral presentation, but it should not be mentioned or highlighted in the advance material mailed to the board."

Allen feels strongly that the board will be misinformed on a potentially serious loss of income if she follows the controller's orders. Allen discussed the problem with the quality control engineer, who simply remarked, "That's your problem, marie."

Required:

1. Discuss the ethical considerations that Marie Allen should recognize in deciding how to proceed.

2. Explain what ethical responsibilities should be accepted by (a) the controller, (b) the quality control engineer, and (c) the plant manager.

3. What should Marie Allen do? Explain your answer

Solution Preview

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1. Discuss the ethical considerations that Marie Allen should recognize in deciding how to proceed.

First let's identify two definitions that come into play with this issue: Ethics and Situational Ethics. Ethics is a set of principles that provides motivation based upon the ideas of right and wrong. Sometimes they are directly related to moral values and rules, either personal or corporate. Situational Ethics is a system of ethics by which acts are judged within their context rather than by a set of categorical principles. This distinction is important because although Marie is presented with an ethical dilemma, business issues such as these are more frequently responded to with situational ethics rather than a hard set of moral values.

Ms. Allen has information regarding a potentially damaging flaw to ...

Solution Summary

Allen included the circuit failure and rework problem in her report prepared for the upcoming quarterly meeting of the board of directors Due to the potential adverse economic impact, Allen followed a long-standing practice of highlighting this information. After reviewing the reports to be presented, the plant manager and his staff complained to the controller that he should control his people better. "We can not upset the board with this kind of material. Tell Allen to tone it down."

The controller called Allen into his office and said, " Marie, you'll have to bury this one. The probable failure of reworks can be mentioned briefly in the oral presentation, but it should not be mentioned or highlighted in the advance material mailed to the board."

Allen feels strongly that the board will be misinformed on a potentially serious loss of income if she follows the controller's orders. Allen discussed the problem with the quality control engineer, who simply remarked, "That's your problem, Marie."

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