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This post addresses the Kate Essex ethical misconduct case.

Kate Essex is the supervisor of the customer service representative group for Enovelty.com, a manufacturer of novelty items. This group spends its workday answering calls, and sometimes placing calls, to customers to assist in solving a variety of issues about orders previously placed with the company. The company has a rule that personal phone calls are only allowed during breaks. Essex is assigned to monitor each representative on the phone for 15 minutes a day, as a part of her regular job tasks. The representatives are aware that Essex will be monitoring them; and customers are immediately informed when they begin their calls. Essex begins to monitor James Olsen, and finds that he is on a personal call regarding his sick child. Olsen is not on break.

1. What should Essex do?
2. What, if any, ethical principles help guide decision making in this situation?
3. What management practices should be in place to ensure proper behavior without violating individual "rights"?
4. Apply the normative theories of business ethics to this situation.

Solution Preview

1. What should Essex do?
The company has a rule that personal phone calls are only allowed during breaks. Essex discovers that John has a sick child and that the personal call he is on is regarding the sick child, however, she is aware of the company policy. Essex should follow the proper protocol for discovering that an employee is on a personal phone call. She should report this to whomever the proper person is, and the employee should be counseled on the proper procedure and suggest that all emergency phone calls, including those regarding sick children, come in to management. Management can then determine if it is appropriate for John to take the call based on both ethics and company policy.

2. What, if any, ethical principles help guide decision making in this situation?
The main ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the Essex ethical case for Enovelty.com. All questions presented in the case regarding James Olsen and his sick child phone call are addressed.

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