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Diversity and Ethics in Personnel Psychology

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You are in charge of selecting a person to fill the position of Information Technology Specialist for your organization. Six candidates have successfully completed a "pass/fail" written examination. The candidates are equally qualified in terms of education and experience. The final hurdle in the selection process is an interview. Prior to any interviews being held, you received an email from the President of your organization, Patricia Madsen. In her email, she indicated that she would "like to see George McDonough get the position." George McDonough is one of the candidates.

Prepare an email response to Ms. Madsen. In your response you should address, at a minimum, the following:

Is this an ethical dilemma?
Why it is or is not an ethical dilemma.
How you evaluated the alternatives.
What your final decision is.
What principle(s) you used to arrive at that decision.

I need help with these questions. I need ideas and suggestions to get me started. Thank you.

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I also attached an excellent resource. I hope this helps and take care.


This is an interesting scenario, and is indeed an ethical dilemma. Let's take a closer look at the individual questions, which you can draw on for your final e-mail. Briefly, you are asked to prepare an email response to Ms. Madsen. In your response you should address, at a minimum, the five questions mentioned above. These can act as a tentative outline for your e-mail.

Let's take a closer look at the following questions.

1. Is this an ethical dilemma?

You might begin your email something to the effect....

Dear Ms. Madsen,

Thank you for the e-mail regarding the position of Information Technology Specialist and suggesting that George McDonald is the right candidate for the new position. We have several issues that I would like to discuss further. I do, however, have several concerns to bring to your attention.

First, I can fully appreciate that you would "like to see George McDonough get the position" because he has a proven track record with our company. However, to be fair to all candidates, I feel to need to continue the applicant process, and choose the best applicant based on the information collected in the applicant hiring process. So, as you can see, it creates an ethical dilemma for me, as it is a situation that involves an apparent conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another.

2. Why it is or is not an ethical dilemma.

You might begin this section:

This seems to be an ethical dilemma, mainly because...

Now, you can consider the following information:

E.g. Notice, in this scenario, there are two conflicting positions. You would probably feel obligated to follow the advise of the President of your organization, as she clearly has the idea of who she thinks would be "right" for the position; however, you would also feel an ethical responsibility to the other applicants to give them a equal chance at getting the job based on their credentials and skills.

Mainly, then, it is an ethical dilemma because you have two positions - either continue the process, have the interview and ignore the President's suggestions; or, go along with the President's decision and either stop the process or continue with the interviews, knowing that in the end you will hire George regardless of the outcome of the interview (which seems unethical to me and perhaps have legal ramifications as well, as the only information that is supposed to influence the hiring selection is the information collected at the interview - not outside influence, like the President's suggestion to hire George). See attached article on legal issues of testing and ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution provides assistance in writing an e-mail concerning the ethical dilemma presented in the scenario. Supplemented with an informative article on the principles of hiring.

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Diversity and ethics in personnel psychology

Consider the following situations:

1. Martin is the best candidate for a Trainer position. Martin has a scar running from his eyebrow to his jaw line on the right side of his face.

2. Gerard is an IT Specialist and his co-workers have complained of his body odor.

For each issue, determine:

(1) whether it falls under the category of diversity, and
(2) how you would address the issue.

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