Ethical Dilemma in the Workplace Essay

Introduction, relevant facts, ethical issues from the facts, who is affected by the outcome of the dilemma, alternatives available for resolving the dilemma, consequences of each alternative, appropriate action.

There are situations that occur in the workplace that we are forced to choose between bad and worse options. Ethical dilemmas in the workplace are major challenges for every employee, and dealing with them is a major struggle. This paper seeks to apply the six steps approach to address an ethical dilemma faced by an employee in an audit firm.

According to the auditing guidelines given by the PCAOB, the documentation of an audit that has been carried out must be completed and submitted within 45 days (Arens, Elder, & Beasley, 2013). It concerns any publicly traded client.

The guidelines also rule that any additional documentation that will be attached to the audit after the stipulated deadline must indicate the date of completion. Other additional information, such as the preparers’ signature and the purpose of inclusion, must also be indicated (Arens et al., 2013). Auditors are prohibited from changing or altering the original audit document.

The audit report must be submitted in its original format without any form of modification by the audit teams as required by the PCAOB guidelines (Arens et al., 2013). PCAOB inspections are very effective in identifying serious audit deficiencies (Arens et al., 2013). If there will be deficiencies identified by the PCAOB, the partner who is a new and a prospective appointee will suffer image damages. The audit deficiencies will make him/her look bad, and he/she may face very serious penalties from the firm as disciplinary measures.

The ethical issue, in this case, is very clear and conspicuous when one reads the text carefully. Ann, who is eyeing for a promotion to become a partner, is faced with a challenge where she has to make one choice from two difficult options. Apparently, she was recently recommended for promotion, and now she has been asked to exercise the full operational power of an officeholder as a partner.

The dilemma, in this case, is choosing what to do, whom to offend, and what values to uphold. The necessity to decide is the most important thing to do in this situation, and it is a very difficult position for Ann. Her partner is adamant, which means she should overlook the guidelines and influence the audit to reflect an outcome that will be good for both her career and the company. But it is despite Ann’s protest that was against the guidelines.

Nonetheless, both situations have an impact on her career. Ann has to decide whether she will stick to the auditing guidelines as provided by the PCAOB guidelines or not (Arens et al., 2013). In an ethical situation as the one presented in this case, one can easily make a wrong decision that can affect him or her in the future.

In these issues, the dilemma will affect two parties, the company, and Ann, the partner responsible for making the audit report look good. If Ann follows the guidelines in general, she will then date the additional information accordingly, and the dates will reflect the actual date when the information was added. However, when she makes such a decision, she will be exposing the entire firm to auditing scrutiny that may expose serious audit deficiencies (Arens et al., 2013).

It will affect the firms’ credibility, and the entire company will suffer. As a result, people will be released publicly. Therefore, the firm’s reputation is at stake with regard to the outcomes of this dilemma. On the other hand, if she will follow the instructions her partner suggested, the company’s reputation will be salvaged.

However, she will fail an integrity test since she is a practitioner, and she is expected to uphold the anticipated conduct of a professional. It may seem to be the best decision, but it has serious implications from both the firm and the PCAOB.

Her partner assured her that nobody would ever know. Nonetheless, if any way, her actions are noticed, she will have a great problem with PCAOB (Arens et al., 2013). In addition, her actions can be used to prove that she is not fit for the office when the final appointment to her promotion is made. If she can influence the outcome of an audit to protect herself and the company, it means she can also do the same for self-gain when an opportunity comes.

There are no good alternatives in this case since every decision has its implications. However, it is important to note that there are alternatives, no matter how bad they might turn out for Ann and the firm. Resolving this dilemma will require one party to take responsibility and be ready to suffer the ensuing consequences. There are two main alternatives in this case, and both are to affect Ann’s career.

The first alternative for solving this dilemma is to abide by the regulations and professional guidelines. The other alternative is to make changes to the additional information so that the dates correspond with an earlier date instead of the actual one. It will protect the firm’s reputation, and the partners will avoid possible fines due to a negative audit outcome.

Being a case of professional auditing, there are guidelines that Ann is supposed to follow. However, if she adheres to the guidelines as she is supposed to do, there will be consequences that will influence her career, and the oncoming promotion will be at risk. On the other hand, if she decides to alter the audit documents against the PCAOB guidelines, she will be compromising her integrity as a trusted and ethical worker/employee.

In my opinion, upholding the PCAOB’s guideline is the best option for Ann in this case (Arens et al., 2013). It is considering the fact that she was invited as an acting officer. She has not assumed the position yet, and she has not been promoted as a partner. Therefore, the firm might consider overlooking her liability if the audit report’s outcome is negative. At the same time, her integrity is at risk if she is seen to be capable of committing unauthorized deals.

She could be under scrutiny, there could be an integrity test, and going against the expected code of conduct could be a major contravention of the ethical practice. Besides, by abiding by the code of conduct, she will display her honesty, and it may lead to a positive outcome in her proposed promotion.

This essay has applied the six steps approach in solving a dilemma in the workplace. The steps include identifying the relevant facts, ethical issues, parties involved, alternatives, consequences of alternatives, and, lastly, the appropriate action. The essay has critically examined this case in order to come up with the most appropriate action to resolve the dilemma.

Arens, A.A., Elder, R.J., & Beasley, M.S. (2013). Auditing and Assurance Services, Student Value Edition (15th ed). New York, NY: Prentice Hall.

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  • General Motors Company Ethical Issues
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28 Ethical Dilemma Examples

ethical dilemma examples and definition, defined below

An ethical dilemma is a situation where two or more moral principles conflict, forcing the individual to choose between them.

The conflict between these principles often makes people struggle with deciding which one to follow and which one to compromise.

A common social dilemma example is when a physician has to choose between breaking a patient’s confidentiality or preventing harm to another person.

Ethical dilemmas go beyond being just ideas on paper (Barrett, 2018). They have a direct impact on the decisions people make in the real world.

Think about how business leaders have to balance making money and being responsible to society (Reynolds, 2014). Also, consider how journalists have to balance giving the public information and respecting people’s privacy (Plaisance, 2017).

Types of Ethical Dilemmas

Rushworth Kidder, an author and ethicist, introduced a framework outlining four types of ethical dilemmas—truth vs. loyalty, individual vs. community, short-term vs. long-term, and justice vs. mercy (Kidder, 2010).

Understanding these classifications aids in dissecting complex moral quandaries and enables effective decision-making .

Below is each type:

  • Truth vs Loyalty: This type of ethical dilemma arises when one is caught between absolute honesty and allegiance to individuals or groups (Kidder, 2015). For instance, consider an employee who discovers fraudulent activities in their company. If they disclose this information, they remain truthful but might violate their loyalty to the company and colleagues (real-world example of whistleblowing).
  • Individual vs. Community: Individual vs. community dilemmas involve discrepancies between personal interests and collective benefits (Kidder, 2010). A pandemic situation offers an apt example—individuals might resist wearing masks for personal comfort, but this stands contrary to the community’s need for public safety (this is a contemporary real-world example).
  • Short-term vs. Long-term: This type of ethical dilemma compels one to choose between immediate benefits or long-term consequences (Kidder, 2015). For instance, a business might opt to cut corners and make profits now, despite the potential long-term detriment to its reputation and customer trust (real-world example of businesses taking shortcuts).
  • Justice vs Mercy: Lastly, justice vs. mercy dilemmas highlight the tension between fair consequences and compassion (Kidder, 2010). In the courtroom, for example, a judge might struggle with issuing a strict sentence (justice) or leniency (mercy), particularly in extenuating circumstances such as the accused being a first-time offender (real-world example from the legal system).

Throughout these categories, Kidder advocated for thoughtful analysis and dialogue to navigate the complexities accompanying ethical dilemmas. His work illuminates the intricacies of moral decision-making, underscoring ethics as a dynamic and challenging field.

Examples of Ethical Dilemmas

Truth vs loyalty.

1. Conflict of Interest This occurs when your loyalty to one party undermines your ability to be truthful or impartial to another. For instance, an auditor reviewing the accounts of a company where a relative is an executive officer faces a truth versus loyalty dilemma.

2. Whistleblowing This situation evolves when an employee uncovers illegal or unethical practices within an organization. The employee must choose between loyalty to the organization and telling the truth by exposing the wrongdoing.

3. Professional Secrecy When professionals like doctors or lawyers have information about a client that could harm others––like a patient revealing they intend to harm someone, they face a truth versus loyalty debate about whether to break confidentiality.

4. Journalism Confidentiality Reporters often deal with the dilemma when protecting a source’s anonymity may protect wrongdoing or cause harm. They must weigh their loyalty to the source against their commitment to truth and public interest.

5. Employee Favoritism Managers might face dilemmas when choosing between treating all employees fairly (truth) and giving preferential treatment to friends or family in the workplace (loyalty).

6. Client Representation Lawyers often grapple with representing a client faithfully––even when the client is guilty of a crime and denying it in court. This dilemma pits their loyalty to the client against their commitment to the truth.

7. Academic Cheating A student who is aware of another student’s academic dishonesty faces the problem of loyalty to a friend versus the truthful reporting of misconduct.

Individual vs Community

Also known as: Social Dilemma

8. Vaccination Debates Individuals may resist getting vaccinated for personal health beliefs, conflicting with the community’s wellbeing, which benefits from herd immunity. 

9. Resource Allocation Communities may require certain resources for the common good , which may limit an individual’s access to these resources for personal use.

10. Zoning Disputes A city’s decision to allow commercial developments in residential areas could harm the quality of life for individual residents while promoting the economic growth of the community.

11. Public Health Measures During a pandemic, individuals may disagree with measures like lockdowns that limit their personal freedoms, even if these measures are beneficial to the community as a whole.

12. Education Policy Changes Policies like school consolidation can affect individual children who prefer smaller, neighborhood schools over larger institutions preferable for budgetary and educational reasons. 

13. Environmental Regulations Regulations that protect the environment often restrict individual liberties by limiting options for property development or resource use.

14. Freedom of Speech A person’s right to express potentially harmful or offensive ideas can conflict with a community’s desire for safety and respect.

Short-term vs Long-term

15. Financial Investments Deciding to spend money now (short-term) for immediate comforts or investing it for future gains (long-term) is a classic short-term vs long-term dilemma.

16. Career Advancement You may face the dilemma of taking an appealing job now versus pursuing education or training that may open better opportunities in the long run.

17. Environmental Considerations A company might face a choice between using cheap, environmentally damaging production methods (short-term) or investing in sustainable practices that may bring future reputation boost and savings (long-term). 

18. Health Choices An individual may need to decide between enjoying unhealthy habits, like junk food or smoking, now versus considering the long-term health implications.

19. Business Growth Entrepreneurs confront this dilemma when deciding whether to reinvest earnings into the company for long-term growth or take more profits in the short term.

20. Public Policy Politicians often have to choose between pursuing policies with immediate benefits that voters will notice or focusing on the long-term, slower solutions like infrastructure development.

21. Technology Upgrades A company might have to decide between sticking to older, cheaper technology now or investing in a costly, cutting-edge technology that promises improved efficiency and profitability in the future.

Justice vs Mercy

22. Leniency for First-Time Offenders A judge might choose to give a strict sentence to a first-time offender to uphold justice. Conversely, mercy would suggest a more lenient sentence or rehabilitation effort, given that it’s the offender’s first mistake.

23. Pardon of a Death Row Inmate A governor may face an ethical dilemma where they have to decide between granting a pardon to a remorseful death row inmate (mercy), and upholding the court’s decision to execute, based on the gravity of the crime committed (justice). 

24. Hate Crime Retribution A victim of a hate crime could be torn between wanting justice done – seeing the offenders punished to the full extent of the law – and showing mercy, hoping that education and awareness could change the offenders’ prejudices.

25. Academic Misconduct A professor who catches a student plagiarizing could provide a second chance, valuing mercy to allow for learning and growth, or they could issue immediate punishment (like failing the student) to uphold academic integrity and justice.

26. Role of Advisors in Financial Crisis Companies may seek to punish advisors implicated in a financial crisis to preserve justice, but showing mercy, reprimanding and educating them instead of outright firing, may be more constructive and prevent recurrence.

27. War Crimes Dilemma Post-war scenarios often involve a decision between seeking justice by prosecuting war criminals, or demonstrating mercy by forgiving and focusing on national healing and reconciliation.

28. Social Welfare Decisions Policymakers might struggle between enforcing strict eligibility criteria to ensure that only those truly deserving get social benefits (justice), versus being flexible in applying rules to avoid denying assistance to those in dire need (mercy).

Navigating an ethical or moral dilemma is no easy task, and often there is no clear right or wrong answer. Yet, understanding the principles and theories underlying ethical decision making can guide you in evaluating potential actions and their consequences (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2018). It should help in choosing the least harmful or most beneficial course of action.

Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2018). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases (12th ed.). Boston: Cengage.

Barrett, C. (2018). Everyday ethics for practicing planners . London: Routledge.

Plaisance, P-L. (2017). Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice (2nd ed.). Sage Publications.

Reynolds, G. (2014). Ethics in Information Technology (4th ed.). New York: Cengage Learning.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Exploring Ethical Frameworks and Dilemmas in Modern Management 

College of Business May 1, 2024

Today’s consumers have strong demands, and many show a clear unwillingness to go along with ethically dubious practices deemed acceptable in years past. This poses significant challenges in several industries, but also an exciting opportunity: the chance to do real good through the power of ethical management.

The growing prioritization of business ethics is readily apparent based on insights from a 2023  survey conducted by Harris Poll  on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). In this study, 70 percent of those referred to as “future talent” explained that “business ethics is more important now than five years ago.”

A number of aspiring leaders recognize the value of managerial ethics but struggle to define this or determine how it will actually play into day-to-day operations or decision-making initiatives. Further research will be needed to uncover and understand these opportunities, but we will reveal a few priorities in this guide to ethics and management. Plus, we will demonstrate the role of a master’s in management in preparing for ethical leadership.

The Importance of Ethics in Management

Implementing managerial ethics begins with highlighting the  why  of ethical management. This explanation can be divided into a few main categories, consisting of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

  • Extrinsic.  Factors such as productivity and risk management deserve consideration, but a  growing body of research  indicates that these areas can see dramatic long-term improvements under ethical frameworks.
  • Intrinsic.  Regardless of what, exactly, drives profits, advocates for management ethics believe that this approach should be pursued simply because it is morally just. Personal values such as empathy and integrity may also drive ethical management.

The Foundation of Ethical Management

While ethical management practices have existed and have been heavily utilized throughout history, this effort took a clear step up with the emergence of concepts such as  corporate social responsibility  (CSR) during the 20th century. This draws on classic ethical concepts, including influential theories from Ancient Greece and the Enlightenment period.

Ethical Theories and Principles

Ethical management is underscored by several classic philosophical theories, which describe what it means to make ethical judgments and how these can be built into everyday problem-solving efforts. Essentials worth examining include:

1. Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism calls for the amplification of utility (often defined in the context of well-being) for as many people as possible while also preventing harm on a wide scale. The ultimate goal? “The greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.”

This is known as a consequentialist theory, as it emphasizes outcomes of various actions (ethical or otherwise), rather than the inherent morality of those actions. It is strongly linked to economist  John Stuart Mill , who, in the essay  Utilitarianism , advocated for the “greatest happiness principle” to guide both moral judgments and overarching public policies.

2. Deontological Ethics (Duty-Based Ethics)

When reflecting on ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ we tend to focus on the consequences of various actions or behaviors, rather than considering the underlying moral implications of these concerns. With Deontological ethics, consequences are not a factor. Behaviors are deemed right or wrong based on intrinsic qualities.

Immanuel Kant is the most recognizable force behind Deontological ethics. His principle of  categorical imperative  suggests that all people must follow certain laws or rules, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

3. Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics  sharply contrasts the outcome-based nature of utilitarianism and duty-based ethics, in which actions tend to attract the bulk of the attention. With virtue ethics, the focus shifts to the character of the individuals responsible for key actions.

This unique ethical framework highlights complex concepts such as eudaimonia (referencing a fulfilled and meaningful way of life) and phronesis (a version of prudence in which people make sound moral judgments within the context of various situations).

4. Ethics of Care

Ethics of care draws attention to empathy in decision-making. This moral theory highlights relationships between friends, family members, and entire communities. These relationships prompt moral obligations, and, as such, ethical decision-making should draw heavily on social connections. Care ethics also highlights the need for social justice, recognizing that systemic concerns can impact relationships and communities.

5. Rights-Based Ethics

Closely aligned with Deontological theories, rights-based ethics highlight inherent rights of individuals, along with the obligations that stem from these rights. According to rights-based ethics, certain rights should always be respected, no matter how the consequences of various rights-based actions play out. Proponents advocate for absolutism, arguing that there are no situations in which it would be acceptable to deny fundamental rights.

6. Justice Theory

Designed to promote equitable treatment, justice theory takes many forms and may encompass the previously described duty-based ethics. Meanwhile, distributive justice reveals the importance of distributing goods and resources fairly throughout society. Rights-based justice also falls within this classification, suggesting that the basis for justice should center around individual freedoms.

7. Ethical Relativism

Ethical relativism  is unique among the philosophies and theories highlighted above, as this philosophy claims that there is no one ‘right’ set of principles by which all humans can realistically abide. Rather, different people or societies are tasked with defining what is right or wrong. Similarly, cultural relativism suggests that no moral truths can be applied on a universal basis.

Ethical Leadership and Corporate Responsibility

The theories cited above can form a strong basis for ethical leadership. However, just as these theories vary, so can ethical leadership as it relates to the modern corporate environment. Concerns worth addressing are highlighted in detail below:

Characteristics of Ethical Leaders

It can be difficult to define ethical leadership. As the ethical frameworks and theories highlighted above indicate, there are some contrasting views of ethics and moral behavior. In general, the leaders most widely defined as ethics emphasize the moral good as they make decisions on behalf of their organizations and to benefit the community at large. Commonly cited characteristics include:

  • Transparency
  • Accountability

Impact on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) encourages organizations to consider the impact of their initiatives, beyond the sheer goal of driving profits. This encompasses a myriad of community or environmental concerns that irresponsible business initiatives may impact. Ethical theories can provide a strong framework to guide CSR efforts.

For instance, utilitarianism reveals the need for corporations to do the best for the most people. Virtue ethics suggests that modern leaders must possess the critical characteristics described above. As explained by deontological ethics, corporations have a moral duty to show respect for employees and consumers alike as they make ethical judgments.

5 Ethical Considerations in Management

Today’s complex business landscape encompasses a wide range of ethical concerns. Many have existed for millennia, but others have become more of a priority in recent years. All must be strongly considered when managing teams, and especially when forming a strategic approach to decision-making.

1. Integrity and Honesty

Transparency forms the foundation of trusting relationships between leaders and team members, and between businesses and consumers. Leaders who demonstrate integrity rely on a strong moral compass while showing a clear commitment to honesty in all their actions.

This begins with transparency. This means letting team members know about current concerns and taking responsibility for mistakes. Leaders should be proactive about sharing important information, but also sensitive in how they uncover essential details.

2. Fairness and Justice

By consistently following morally sound policies and procedures, leaders can show fairness and justice in their dealings with employees and with other stakeholders. Equal opportunity is also a must, especially as it relates to hiring, career advancement, and performance review integrity. Ethical leaders must work actively to address any biases they may hold while also making a point of intervening when they observe injustice in the workforce.

3. Respect for Individuals

Today’s employees may require guidance and structure, but they also want to be treated with respect. This means delegating tasks but also trusting that employees are up to the job and can handle responsibilities without being micromanaged. This respect for individuals also calls for the creation of an inclusive environment, in which all feel valued and empowered.

4. Responsibility and Accountability

We have touched on the need for leaders to own up to their mistakes and to address their own biases, but this is just one aspect of accountability in the context of modern management. This also calls for the active pursuit of constructive feedback. Employees should have ample opportunities to share their perspectives, especially as they relate to leadership styles and initiatives.

5. Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

Environmental stewardship should be framed as a core business value and built into missions, visions, and policies. It is also crucial for ethical managers to lead by example and demonstrate that they incorporate sustainable practices into their daily routines. On a wider scale, this should be viewed as an ongoing process that calls for careful monitoring, innovation, and public advocacy.

Strategies for Identifying, Analyzing, and Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

  • Identification.  Today’s leaders must be mindful of emerging ethical concerns and willing to put more effort into finding and addressing these. This begins with open and honest communication.
  • Analysis.  The ethical frameworks highlighted above can play a valuable role in determining the scope of current dilemmas and how they might be resolved. Consider integrating data-driven practices to further assist in the analysis of ethical concerns.
  • Resolution.  As resolutions are developed and implemented, leaders need to be mindful of current policies, legislative guidelines, and feedback from various stakeholders. Ideally, ethical decisions will align with professional standards and organizational objectives.
  • Documentation and Reflection.  Decision-making processes must be carefully and thoroughly documented. Personal reflection can help leaders learn from these initiatives and apply key findings to future ethical decision-making efforts.

Top 10 Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace

Ethical dilemmas abound in the modern workplace and, with so many concerns at stake, it can be easy for leaders to feel stifled. Ethically minded leaders must acknowledge that there will never be a “perfect” solution, but that they can still make ethical choices based on key frameworks while addressing these top 10 ethical dilemmas in the workplace:

1. Conflicts of Interest

Even the most harmonious workplaces will inevitably experience significant conflicts of interest. To note, efforts to be eco-conscious can prove complicated, especially when leaders have business interests involving sustainable ventures. Other conflicts of interest may center around diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as sometimes, the seemingly best-trained pool of talent will not abide by DEI principles.

2. Use of Company Resources

From time theft to expense accounts and especially intellectual properties, there are ethical conundrums to be navigated within the modern workforce. Furthermore, a number of policies may promote unequal access to these resources. Clear policies and procedures can help, as can leading by example.

3. Information Privacy and Confidentiality

In today’s data-driven environment, leaders often struggle to weigh the desire for personalized services against concerns surrounding consumer privacy. These issues are increasingly underscored by regulatory frameworks such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act).

4. Hiring and Firing Practices

Ethics in hiring are increasingly difficult to navigate, especially in the context of DEI and skill gaps or labor shortages. At minimum, merit-based recruitment and selection processes must be implemented, with managers aware of unconscious biases as they screen candidates. Fair and objective criteria are also needed for performance evaluations and for promoting dignity in termination, when necessary.

5. Gifts and Bribes

Concepts such as quid pro quo have been prominent in the corporate world for far too long. Many policies are in place to avoid these practices, and yet, several organizations explore gray areas and ethically dubious initiatives. Strict guidelines must be established surrounding bribery and ethical conduct. If these policies are not followed, transparency and accountability are essential.

6. Fairness and Equality

Several of the aforementioned principles of ethics play heavily into efforts to promote fairness and equality in the modern workforce. Unfortunately, there are still huge disparities in hiring and pay. Key opportunities worth exploring, such as inclusive decision-making processes, DEI training, and objective performance evaluations, to name a few. Also crucial to consider is a culture of open communication to reveal when initiatives are not fair or equal.

7. Whistleblowing

Employees should feel empowered to reveal misconduct and to seek solutions. Unfortunately, many fear that they will be let go or that they will face other harsh consequences. Whistleblowing policies should protect these employees while ensuring that they have access to reporting channels. All whistleblower reports must be taken seriously and investigated promptly.

8. Intellectual Property and Confidentiality

When properly safeguarded, intellectual property promotes innovation and creativity. Some organizations rely on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), but these must be deemed legally enforceable. Beyond this, clear guidelines must reveal how IPs will be safeguarded. Access controls may be required to ensure that confidential information is only available when required by certain employees.

9. Employee Monitoring

Employee monitoring solutions can help leaders provide better guidance in an era of remote work, but the implications surrounding privacy and work-life balance can be concerning. Legal compliance is a must, along with transparency so that employees know when and how they are monitored on the job. Surveillance efforts should never undermine employee autonomy or dignity.

10. Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

Many organizations struggle to balance priorities such as sustainability and profitability. Unfortunately, practices that promise to drive profits often present clear ecological conundrums. Ethical issues may also involve resource allocation and the inherent complexity of the modern supply chain.

How UTC Integrates Ethics Into Management Education

Are you intrigued by the ethical concerns cited above? If you are committed to do your part, you could be a great candidate for  Master of Science in Management (MSM) . This program provides a strong foundation through core courses but also integrates ethical concepts into electives and experiential learning. Learn more about our ethics-based approach to management education, or take the next step and  apply today . 

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Ethical Dilemma in The Workplace, Essay Example

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You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

The current labor force is characterized by talent diversity in terms of culture, socioeconomic status, nationality, education background age and religion among others. The diverse people in the work force exhibit diverse values, background as well as goals which cerates a wide range of perceptions of behaviors that are generally acceptable in the work place. Consequently, there arises a complexity in the ethical dilemmas that forces the management to come up with codes of ethics (Gray & Herr, 1998). Ethical dilemmas involve a wide range of dealings coupled with corresponding consequences of the actions. An ethical dilemma in the workplace of importance in this paper is conducting of personal business in the workplace.

Conducting Personal Business in the workplace

Majority of workers are deeply engrossed in their places of work for the greater part of their time during the weekdays. Their weekends are equally demanding as they are expected to participate in their family obligations. In most cases therefore, the employees can not escape some ethical dilemmas. Due to the extended time span that they are expected to be at their places of work, the temptation of performing personal business during the working hours becomes inevitable. The use of office computers and the company’s internet connection for freelance business is a common occurrence with most workers. This is an ethical dilemma with practically clear conscience about the abuse of company assets. It also equates to violating the public trust and a theft of time as well as money from the work place. This is a workplace problem that is common among most employees and it costs the employer huge sums of money in terms of wasted time and salary (McCabe & Pavela, 2004).

This ethical dilemma intersects with personal values of the employees. According to the opinion of some employees, the behavior is harmless and has least implications on the level of productivity as well as job performance. Other employees would perceive the wasted time as creative down time and it translates to innovative ideas in business and the industry (Gray & Herr, 1998). However, the truth of the matter is that the employer incurs losses out of this wasted time which is extremely destructive to the economy. There is also the possibility of damaging the potent work ethic which is a requirement of the working population (McCabe & Pavela, 2004).

It is important to consider solving the ethical dilemma for the benefit of the smooth running of the company activities. Employees need to learn to apply employability skills which include honesty, working cooperatively, avoiding pride in the work place, respecting other people, learning to be dependable people, taking responsibility for individual actions, loyalty and integrity at work (Gray & Herr, 1998). Business managers should train their employees skills of critical thinking to facilitate for making of decisions in an ethical manner. The skills are beneficial towards resolution of ethical dilemmas that are evident in the work place

Moral philosophy in the work place

To most workers, application of moral philosophy is problematic based on the fact that the discussion is done in a logical and coherent detail aiming at proving the truth associated with a moral action. Most ethical dilemma requires application of moral philosophy so as to determine the difference between right and wrong (McCabe & Pavela, 2004). Through moral philosophy, it is possible to systematize, recommend or defend an ethical dilemma as a right behavior or a wrong one.

Gray, K., & Herr, E., (1998). “The mission of Workforce Education”. Workforce education the basics. MA: Allyn & Bacon.

McCabe, D., & Pavela, G. (2004). “Ten updated principles of academic integrity”. Change,  36 (3), 10-21.

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Home » Resources » Strategic Leadership and Management » 5 Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

5 Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

Last Updated March 27, 2024

A sheet of paper that says "Ethics" at the top with some text underneath and a red circle being drawn with a marker around the word"moral".

Recent headline-making ethical issues, particularly those tied to discrimination and sexual harassment, have shed light on unethical conduct in the workplace and how these ethical lapses can permeate employee relations, business practices, and operations. According to the  Ethics & Compliance Initiative’s 2018 Global Benchmark on Workplace Ethics , 30% of employees in the U.S. personally observed misconduct in the past 12 months, a number close to the global median for misconduct observation. These ethical breaches often occur unreported or unaddressed, and when totaled, can command a hefty cost. Unethical practices spurred more than half of the largest bankruptcies in the past 30 years, like Enron, Lehman Brothers, and WorldCom, and can take a larger economic toll, estimated at $1.228 trillion, according to the  Society for Human Resource Management .

These numbers suggest you’ll likely encounter ethical dilemmas in your workplace. Here are five ethically questionable issues you may face in the workplace and how you can respond .

Unethical Leadership

Having a personal issue with your boss is one thing, but reporting to a person who is behaving unethically is another. This may come in an obvious form, like manipulating numbers in a report or spending company money on inappropriate activities; however, it can also occur more subtly, in the form of bullying, accepting inappropriate gifts from suppliers, or asking you to skip a standard procedure  just once.  With studies indicating that managers are responsible for  60% of workplace misconduct , the abuse of leadership authority is an unfortunate reality.

Toxic Workplace Culture

Organizations helmed by unethical leadership are more often than not plagued by a toxic workplace culture. Leaders who think nothing of taking bribes, manipulating sales figures and data or pressuring employees or business associates for “favors” (whether they be personal or financial), will think nothing of disrespecting and bullying their employees. With the current emphasis in many organizations to hire for “cultural fit,” a toxic culture can be exacerbated by continually repopulating the company with like-minded personalities and toxic mentalities. Even worse, hiring for “cultural fit” can become a smokescreen for discrimination, which can result in more ethical issues and legal ramifications.

Discrimination and Harassment 

Laws require organizations to be equal employment opportunity employers. Organizations must recruit a diverse workforce, enforce policies and training that support an  equal opportunity program , and foster an environment that is respectful of all types of people. Unfortunately, there are still many whose practices break with EEOC guidelines.  When discrimination and harassment of employees based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability or age occurs, not only has an ethical line been crossed but a legal one as well. Most companies are vigilant to avoid the costly legal and public ramifications of discrimination and harassment, so you may encounter this ethical dilemma in more subtle ways, from seemingly “harmless” off-color jokes by a manager to a more pervasive “group think” mentality that can be a symptom of a toxic culture. This could be a group mentality toward an “other” group (for example, women aren’t a good fit for our group). Your best response is to maintain your personal values and repel such intolerant, unethical or illegal group norms by offering an alternative, inclusive perspective as the best choice for the group and the organization.

Unrealistic and Conflicting Goals

Your organization sets a goal—it could be a monthly sales figure or product production number—that seems unrealistic, even unattainable. While not unethical in and of itself (after all, having driven leadership with aggressive company goals is crucial to innovation and growth), it’s how employees, and even some leaders, go about reaching the goal that could raise an ethical red flag. Unrealistic objectives can spur leaders to put undue pressure on their employees, and employees may consider cutting corners or breaching ethical or legal guidelines to obtain them. Cutting corners ethically is a shortcut that rarely pays off, and if your entire team or department is failing to meet goals, company leadership needs that feedback to revisit those goals and re-evaluate performance expectations.

Questionable Use of Company Technology

While this may feel like a minor blip in the grand scheme of workplace ethics, the improper use of the internet and company technology is a huge cost for organizations in lost time, worker productivity and company dollars. One survey found that  64% of employees  visit non-work related websites during the workday. Not only is it a misuse of company tools and technology, but it’s also a misuse of company time. Whether you’re taking hourly breaks to check your social media news feed or know that your coworker is using company technology resources to work on freelance jobs, this “little white lie” of workplace ethics can create a snowball effect. The response to this one is simple: when you’re working on the company’s computer on the company’s time, just don’t do it, even as tempting as it may be.  

Ethical Issues Create Slippery Slopes

Not all ethical breaches are as dramatic as those that make headlines, but all ethical violations are wrong nonetheless. When you find yourself faced with an unethical situation or leader, think about what you value most as an individual and as a professional to guide your response. Knowing when to say when can be a personal ethical dilemma unto itself. While it’s crucial to speak up when witnessing unethical behavior, the greater the risks to the company or your direct manager, the greater the pressure you may feel to go along with or ignore the behavior, especially if blowing the whistle could put your career in jeopardy. Consider that 53% of employees who reported ethical misconduct in their companies said they experienced some form of retaliation, according to the 2016 National Business Ethics survey by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative and as reported by  The New York Times .

Using euphemisms to dilute the severity of unethical behavior, avoiding addressing the behavior, or rationalizing that “most” employees are going along with the breach anyway are practices that can fester, driving out good employees, ruining careers and putting a company at risk. If you find yourself working in a culture that accepts and even facilitates unethical behavior, or resorts to professional retaliation when these issues are brought to light, you’ll have to decide whether to stay and condone your company’s practices or if it’s time to go.

Learn how you can create an  ethical gameplan  for your organization with an MS in Management, Strategy, and Leadership from Michigan State University.

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How to Speak Up About Ethical Issues at Work

First, decide whether you should say something at all.

Sometimes you sense that something isn’t right at work. You suspect that your finance colleague might be fudging numbers, your boss isn’t telling his manager the truth about an important project, or your co-worker is skipping out of the office early but leaving her computer on so it looks like she’s just down the hall. How do you know when it’s worth speaking up or not? Can you you protect yourself from potential consequences of calling out bad behavior? And when you do decide to say something, what do you say and to whom?

  • Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, cohost of the Women at Work podcast , and the author of two books: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People) and the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict . She writes and speaks about workplace dynamics. Watch her TEDx talk on conflict and follow her on LinkedIn . amyegallo

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12 Interesting Ethical Topics for Essay Papers

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Writing a persuasive essay requires identifying interesting ethical topics, and these options might inspire you to create a powerful and engaging essay, position paper , or speech for your next assignment.

Should Teens Have Plastic Surgery?

Good looks are highly prized in society. You can see advertisements everywhere urging you to buy products that will supposedly enhance your appearance. While many products are topical, plastic surgery is probably the ultimate game-changer. Going under the knife to enhance your looks can be a quick fix and help you achieve the look you desire. It also carries risks and can have lifelong consequences. Consider whether you think teens—who are still developing into mature individuals—should have the right to make such a big decision at such a young age, or if their parents should be able to decide for them.

Would You Tell If You Saw a Popular Kid Bullying?

Bullying is a big problem in schools and even in society in general. But it can be difficult to show courage, step up—and step in—if you see a popular kid bullying someone at school. Would you report it if you saw this happening? Why or why not?

Would You Speak Up If Your Friend Abused an Animal?

Animal abuse by youngsters can foreshadow more violent acts as these individuals grow up. Speaking up might save the animal pain and suffering today, and it might steer that person away from more violent acts in the future. But would you have the courage to do so? Why or why not?

Would You Tell If You Saw a Friend Cheating on a Test?

Courage can come in subtle forms, and that can include reporting seeing someone cheat on a test. Cheating on a test might not seem like such a big deal; perhaps you've cheated on a test yourself. But it is against the policies of schools and universities worldwide. If you saw someone cheating, would you speak up and tell the teacher? What if it were your buddy cheating and telling might cost you a friendship? Explain your stance.

Should News Stories Slant Toward What People Want to Hear?

There is much debate over whether the news should be unbiased or allow commentary. Newspapers, radios, and news television stations are businesses, just as much as a grocery store or online retailers. They need customers to survive, and that means appealing to what their customers want to hear or see. Slanting reports toward popular opinions could increase ratings and readership, in turn saving newspapers and news shows, as well as jobs. But is this practice ethical? What do you think?

Would You Tell If Your Best Friend Had a Drink at the Prom?

Most schools have strict rules about drinking at the prom, but many students still engage in the practice. After all, they'll be graduating soon. If you saw a friend imbibing, would you tell or look the other way? Why?

Should Football Coaches Be Paid More Than Professors?

Football often brings in more money than any other single activity or program a school offers, including academic classes. In the corporate world, if a business is profitable, the CEO and those who contributed to the success are often rewarded handsomely. With that in mind, shouldn't it be the same in academia? Should top football coaches get paid more than top professors? Why or why not?

Should Politics and Church Be Separate?

Candidates often invoke religion when they're campaigning. It's generally a good way to attract votes. But should the practice be discouraged? The U.S. Constitution, after all, dictates that there should be a separation of church and state in this country. What do you think and why?

Would You Speak Up If You Heard an Ugly Ethnic Statement at a Party Filled With Popular Kids?

As in the previous examples, it can be hard to speak up, especially when an incident involves popular kids. Would you have the courage to say something and risk the ire of the "in" crowd? Who would you tell?

Should Assisted Suicides Be Allowed for Terminally Ill Patients?

Some countries, like the Netherlands, allow assisted suicides , as do some U.S. states. Should "mercy killing" be legal for terminally ill patients who are suffering from great physical pain? What about patients whose diseases will negatively impact their families? Why or why not?

Should a Student's Ethnicity Be a Consideration for College Acceptance?

There has been a long-standing debate about the role ethnicity should play in college acceptance. Proponents of affirmative action argue that underrepresented groups should be given a leg up. Opponents say that all college candidates should be judged on their merits alone. What do you think and why?

Should Companies Gather Information About Their Customers?

Information privacy is a big and growing issue. Every time you log onto the internet and visit an online retailer, news company, or social media site, companies gather information about you. Should they have the right to do so, or should the practice be banned? Why do you think so? Explain your answer.

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Interview questions answered: Describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma

Life is not easy, or fair. Employees are not always loyal, and won’t do the best thing for the company at all occasions. Actually we face temptation at work every day. A chance to date an attractive colleague , for example, though it may be only an unrealistic dream, especially when they are married. Or an opportunity to approve this or that contract, or choose a specific supplier , because it will pocket us a few extra thousands dollars.

There are many other dilemmas we can face. Should you opt for the less expensive way of doing something, though it is not environmentally friendly ? Should you sell your client a certain product, which is good enough for them, though you know you could sell them a more expensive alternative , and make more money along the way, for both you and your employer?

Facing an ethical dilemma is something normal, something you cannot entirely avoid , unless you work as a lighthouse keeper. What matters to the interviewers is your attitude. How did you eventually decide? Did you do the right thing for you, for the company, for the environment ? And what factors did you consider before making your decision? That’s why they ask you to provide an example when your ethics were tested.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interesting interview question. I hope you will find at least one answer that resonates with your personality and experiences in my selection, one you can use in your interview. Enjoy!

7 sample answers to “Describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma” interview question

  • I faced a big one in my last job of a production manager. We were negotiating with several suppliers of clothes. One factory from Bangladesh gave us by far the best offer, and on paper they passed all environmental checks . But when our guys traveled there to inspect the production site, they found out that the company actually faked a lot of things, and polluted local rivers while producing clothing . Now, I could have said it didn’t matter. It was thousands of miles away after all, and they gave us the best offer, and they had the papers and certificates and everything. So it definitely was an ethical dilemma . But I eventually decided to reject them. What’s more, I reported them to local authorities. We chose another supplier. We paid more, our profit margin was tighter but we did not lie to our customers and did not participate on polluting the nature. I believe I made the right decision, though not everyone in the company would agree with that.
  • Speaking honestly, my ethics were tested a lot in my last job . I knew that my manager was interested in me. They could get me a much better position in the company, or authorize a big raise. Just I had to go with them for a drink a few times. It was obvious and they made the offer several times. However, first and foremost, I knew it was not the right way up the career ladder , not the right thing to do. What’s more, they were married, so even from an ethical standpoint it was not correct to go with them… Hence I refused their offer repeatedly. Instead of promoting me, they decided to make it really difficult for me in work . Apparently they didn’t like losing, or maybe they weren’t used to getting refused. At the end of the day, I had to leave the company, and that’s why I am here today. But I would do the same thing again, because money is not the most important thing for me, and it never has been.

* Do not forget to check also : Full list of most common behavioral (describe a time when…) interview questions .

  • This is my first job application , so I haven’t faced any ethical dilemmas at work yet. But I’ve faced them regularly during my studies… You know how it works with the exams. Someone knows the questions beforehand, and sometimes it is easy to cheat , because the professor doesn’t pay attention. I would lie to you if I said that I never cheated. But I eventually realized that it wasn’t ethically correct , and more importantly, that first and foremost I was cheating myself . I went to college to learn something. Getting the diploma was the goal, but the knowledge mattered for me more , and the connections with the community of students and teachers. Hence I decided to quit cheating, during my second year at the college. I managed to stick to my promise till the end of my studies.
  • In my opinion, we face such dilemmas every day . And if we are responsible, and think about future generations as well, we should think about our daily decision. Take a typical shopping in a supermarket as an example. Will I drive there, or walk? Will I prefer local and environmentally friendly food , or will I opt for imported alternative, just because it costs less money? And how much will I buy? A lot, so we have a great selection back home, but eventually throw half of the food to rubbish , just like most US households? Or just enough, so maybe we can’t satisfy each carving of the stomach, but will end up eating and processing everything we bought? I try to think about these things, because I realize that each decision I make has an impact on the planet , and especially on the future generations. We shouldn’t be so selfish…
  • Working as a purchasing agent , I faced many ethical dilemmas in my last job. You know how it works in this business, don’t you? A manager from one of the suppliers calls you and invites you for a private meeting. There’s an envelope on the table , or they make you a direct offer–you can get this and this if we win this competition. They do not always have to offer you money, but they will offer something. This is how it works, sad but true. But I never accepted such an offer, I kept my integrity . Maybe I was stupid, hard to say. Because if I accepted few of these offers I might have enough money today to not apply for jobs for the next ten years. But you cannot be someone you aren’t . I enjoy working, and I am not the kind of guy who would enjoy drinking champagne in a tropical resort for months on end… So I quit my job, and here I am, trying to start a new career with you.
  • Actually I am here because of the last dilemma I faced –whether or not to stay with my present employer. When I graduated from pharmacy I was naive . I really thought that drugs help people, that pharmaceutical companies exist to help cure diseases and make the population healthier. I couldn’t be more wrong . They exist only to generate profit, lot of it. And to actually make the population sicker, or addicted to the drugs they produce, so they can make even more money each year. It is a vicious cycle, but I decided to quit the ride . Surely, they paid me well , and I have to start from scratch in a new field now. But money isn’t everything, and I could not live with myself if I stayed in the pharma business any longer.
  • I faced such dilemmas each day with my last employer, and that’s exactly why I left them–because I was too weak, and I often fell for the temptation . And then I felt terrible. Let me explain it in more detail. I was selling insurance and retirement plans to clients. But we did not get the same commission from each provider. Actually one provider paid 50% more to the agents, and their product looked great on the paper. In reality, however, the clients paid a lot on hidden fees each year , and they eventually saved less money in a long run. But I still sold this plan to some clients, and I felt terrible afterwards… Here I am, honest and smarter than before, applying for a job with your company. I know that your agents get the same commission for each deal they close. I really like this payment model, because it motivates us to look for the best solution for the client, and not the one which is best for our pocket…

Ethical dilemma examples for students

If you face this question in a school admission interview , or should write as essay on the topic , as a part of an admission process, the pivotal thing remains the same: to show the right attitude, to explain your reasoning . You were tempted, no doubt, but you eventually did the right thing, or at least one you considered right . Or at least that’s what you should write or say :). To some good examples of ethical dilemmas for students belong:

  • Do I pick the major I love, or do I decide according to the eventual salary and career opportunities?
  • Will I help my classmate during an important exam, since I know how much it matters for them to pass, even if it entails cheating? Or will I, on the contrary, ignore them or even notify the teacher?
  • Do I try to stand out in a classroom, always having the best answer ready, or do I rather back up, giving some of other schoolmates the opportunity to stand out and shine?
  • Will I go to the party, to strengthen the camaraderie with my schoolmates, or will I rather skip it since it will impact my studies?

None of these situations is easy, but as long as you explain your reasoning on your essay (or in the interviews), the admission committee should be happy with your answer. Show them that you are a mature individual who sees pros and cons of their actions. You always try to do the right thing, though you may something do the wrong one–you’re still just a student at the end, trying to find your way in life…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also the following posts, to make sure you get ready for your interview:

  • Tell us about a time when you had to comply with a policy you didn’t agree with.
  • What is the most important thing you learned at school?
  • What makes you unique?
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  • Ethical Dilemma Essay

TOOLS FOR WRITING – THE ETHICAL DILEMMA ESSAY

Table of contents, defining an ethical dilemma, ethical dilemma essay topics, how to write an ethical dilemma essay, ethical dilemma essay examples.

We all have a sense of ethics – moral principles that are a part of who we are . Some people are fully opposed to the death penalty; others are opposed to abortion; some support mercy killing, or the “right to die.” But what happens when our moral principles are put to the test through an ethical dilemma?

Basically, an ethical dilemma is facing a decision that, in making that decision, violates a moral principle in order to follow another one . Either decision will mean violating one of your moral principles. 

An ethical dilemma is facing a decision that, in making that decision, violates a moral principle in order to follow another one

A simple and often used example of a moral dilemma is this: You are on a ship that is sinking, and you must get into a lifeboat. That lifeboat can only hold 10 people without sinking, and there are 11 of you that need to get into it. Your moral principle is the preservation of life at all costs. How do you determine who does not get into that lifeboat? Or do you put all 11 in the lifeboat which will kill all of you? Any decision you make will compromise your principle of preserving life at all costs. 

If you are assigned an ethical dilemma essay, chances are you are given a question or a prompt for that essay, but if not you can always search for a write my paper help on our web-site

Sample Ethical Dilemma Essay

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Writer144311 has a background in marketing, technology, and business intelligence. S/he enjoys writing about data science, BI, new marketing trends and branding strategies. On TrustMyPaper s/he shares her practical experience through academic writing.

Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma? Write a personal ethical dilemma essay about one such dilemma and how you handled it. It will be in the first person and will not have to follow the formal writing rules of academic writing .

Here are several potential topics of an ethical dilemma essay. You will note that most provide scenarios in which a person will have to make a decision.

Best ethical dilemma essay topics:

  • You are a nurse who is committed to providing the best possible care according to the protocols that have been established. You have a patient who is dying. He is in extreme pain. You are charged with administering pain medication on a set schedule, but the patient remains in extreme pain and is asking for more pain medication on a shorter schedule. Do you follow your moral principle of relieving pain or the protocols that have been established?
  • You are the spouse of a woman who has gone into labor. There are complications. The doctor has informed you that you must make a decision to save the life or your wife or your as yet unborn child. What is your decision-making process, and how does either decision compromise your moral principles of the sanctity of life? Do you abort the child and condemn it to death or do you preserve the life of your wife?
  • You have witnessed your best friend cheating on an exam. Do you let loyalty to your friend prevail and not report this, or do you abide by your sense of what is right and report the incident to your instructor?
  • You are an animal rights advocate, believing that all life is sacred. A biological research company is conducting research using animals as subjects. The goal of this research is to eliminate a horrible disease that is afflicting many people all over the world., but animals will suffer even die, in the process. Can you reconcile your advocacy of animal rights with the greater good of saving human lives?

While your essay will follow the standard format – introduction, body, and conclusion – it may be of different types. You may be writing a narrative of personal experience; you may be writing a more academic piece on an ethical dilemma in a conceptual way; you may be writing an argumentative piece on a specific ethical dilemma. And some of these types of essays may require some research.

Once you have completed your mind map, and consolidated the items into specific points that you want to make, you are ready to craft at least a rough outline of the body paragraphs you will compose.

Develop your thesis statement based upon your points. What is it that you are trying to “prove” to your audience? What do you want your reader to take away from this essay? Your answer to these questions will help you to form your thesis statement.

Write your body paragraphs first. These must be well-formed, with topic sentences and lots of detail to support them. 

One the body paragraphs are constructed, you are ready to craft your introduction – a part of your essay that will introduce the topic and provide your thesis for the essay. Work to create a “hook” for your reader – something that will pique their interest and motivate them to read on. This might be a startling statistic, a quote from a famous person, or a short anecdote to which they can relate. 

Carefully think about your conclusion. You will want to re-state your thesis , of course, but you also may need to encourage those who are dealing with moral dilemmas , as they struggle with their own.

There are plenty of ethical dilemma essay examples out there on the web. And they will give you great ideas about structure and format. But understand this: your essay must be uniquely yours. You must insert your own style, your own ideas, your own style into your essay, or it won’t be compelling or engaging to your reader. Take the ideas; take the points. But make the essay yours alone.

External links

How to Mind Map with Tony Buzan. (2015). [YouTube Video]. In  YouTube . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Y4pIsXTV0

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Ethical Dilemma at Workplace Essay

Introduction – What is an ethical dilemma? Ethics is the term we give to our concern for good behavior. It is human nature to not only be concerned with our own personal well being, but also that of others and of human society as a whole. The difference between moral dilemmas and ethical ones, philosophers say, is that in moral issues the choice is between right and wrong. In ethical ones, the choice is between two rights. Everyday I'm faced with decisions of right and wrong, most of which are easily and correctly dealt with. Sometimes however, decisions need to be made between right and right which are not easy or straightforward. They require intuitive understanding. Even the opinions or actions of friends faced with similar …show more content…

Because of this company policy, every team member whether he/she worked the same amount of hours or productive, used to get promotions and raises. Amit being a part of my team got couple of raises and bonuses as the team overall performed quite well. Many a times we had client meetings and presentations where he won’t be present but still get credit for the team success. This went on for quite a while. In the beginning, our team members were pretty considerate towards Amit’s situation but then due to his absenteeism and the fact that he was not present during many client presentations but still got the evaluation as any other hard working member of the team would, left us with no differentiation between him and us. On top of that, he was an escapist too. Many a times we would get a client who is tough to convince and the result would be a sales pitch on which the entire team would have spent numerous hours and efforts, and when it would result into a “no sale”, Amit would try and withdraw his name from the sales team for such a pitch and practically come out clean saying he wasn’t a part of the team working on the lead. Slowly, things took a bad turn for rest of the team when the manager started to think that only when Amit is around, we are successful in convincing a client! This was the biggest ethical dilemma I have ever

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Ethical dilemma is often defined as a situation involving two choices that will both have a negative result or both have a positive result. Knowing this, ethical dilemma is found in your every day lives and is illustrated in ways that might not be recognizable at all times. Remember the Titans is a film produced in 2000 about two high schools, one white and one black school, which are combined and integrated. The movie is shown through the eyes and ways of the high school football team where the teams is forced to integrate and they learn to depend on each other. Ethical dilemma is found in this movie several times, but there is one that is found in the basis of the movie, racism.

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Ethical Dilemma Essay

An ethical dilemma is an incident that causes us to question how we should react based on our beliefs. A decision needs to be made between right and wrong. I have experienced many ethical dilemmas in my lifetime, so I know that there is no such thing as an ethical dilemma that only affects one person. I also know that some ethical dilemmas are easier to resolve than others are. The easy ones are the ones in which we can make decisions on the spot. For example, if a cashier gives me too much change, I can immediately make a decision to either return the money or keep it. Based on Kant’s, categorical imperative there are two criteria for determining moral right and wrong. First, there is universalizability, which states, “the person’s

Workplace Ethical Dilemma Essay

Everyday individuals are faced with issues associated with ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas involve an individual’s behavior toward a moral standard, which may have been established from previous generations and passed along. In upholding the standards taught individual may be forced to take a particular action involving a decision when a behavior is considered non-ethical is when an ethical dilemma occurs. It can become difficult at times in making the correct decisions or solutions to the situation, which is why a code of ethics is established in the workplace. The code of ethics in the

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Ethics are moral principles that can be used to help guide peoples decisions. We are all different and therefore our beliefs and opinions differ. There are many ethical theories, and according to Panza and Potthast (n.d.) the following are some that are widely used. Virtue ethics is one theory which states that personality is the most important thing. Living an ethical life, acting right, requires that one develops and demonstrates the quality of courage, compassion, wisdom, and temperance. It also requires that greed, jealousy, and selfishness is avoided. Utilitarianism states that the amount of happiness and suffering created by a person’s actions is what matters the most. As a result, acting rightly includes maximizing the amount of

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In their personal and professional lives, people can and, unfortunately, sometimes do go against their moral and ethical standards. Ethical standards are what it means to be a good person, the social rules that govern our behavior. Ethics in business is essentially the study of what constitutes the right and wrong or the good or bad behavior in the workplace environment. A business is an organization whose objective is to provide goods or services for profit. The organization has a group of people that work together to achieve a common purpose. The moral challenges that these men and women face each day along with a whole range of problems that could occur, are why ethics plays such an important

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Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with the principles correlated to human behavior concerning the rightness and wrongness of specific conduct, and to the good and bad that influences and ends those actions (Ditonary.com, 2011). In other words, ethics is the choice people effect in regards to a decision they need to achieve. Without ethics directing the choice an individual makes, moral preferences of what should or should not be done becomes irrelevant. While ethical decisions are made every day there are two different regions in which these choices are made.

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15 Ethical Dilemma Examples You See in the Real-World

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In your everyday life, and especially at work, have you faced ethical dilemmas that challenge your personal morals? If so, considering common ethical dilemma examples can go a long way to resolving your own.

You'll learn you must analyze the risks, rely on your convictions, and trust your instincts. Stepping back and removing yourself from the situation can help you gain a perspective that will aid in making your best decisions.

It's also important to be sure you act after thinking the situation through and not before. To help with this, take a look at our article, “7 Ways to Live Consciously in an Unconscious World.”

Drawing on the experience of others may empower you to navigate your struggle and arrive at the best decision.

This process exercises your critical thinking skills and the decisions you make can help you become respected as a person and a professional. Therefore, looking at ways that others have navigated those difficult moral decisions may be an excellent way to help you should you ever face similar circumstances.

In this article, you’ll learn about specific ethical dilemma examples that will help you understand the difficulty of making decisions that go against moral principles… which may make it less troublesome to make a decision when facing your next ethical dilemma.

Table of Contents

What Are Ethical Dilemmas?

Ethical dilemmas are all about difficulty in choosing between two courses of action, in which either choice involves disobeying a moral principle.

For instance, if you’re facing an ethical dilemma, it can affect you emotionally as you may struggle between what you consider to be right against what you consider to be necessary for a certain situation.

An ethical dilemma occurs when your moral principles are challenged. Some instances of the moral tenets are honesty, abstaining from and not promoting violence, caring for others, respecting the privacy of others, aiding people in trouble, and not harming others, whether humans or animals.

You may have heard of ethical dilemma examples called moral dilemmas or ethical paradoxes. In some instances, any choice you make is wrong in some sense.

In each ethical dilemma, the options are at odds with each other; they conflict with each other, causing a contradiction or paradox.

There are situations where you might have two choices; if you choose one, it would be impossible to choose the other.

Real-World Ethical Dilemma Examples

Often, the best way to mitigate ethical dilemmas is to learn about and seek understanding with real-world examples. Here are 15 examples of real-world ethical dilemmas we trust you’ll find useful. 

1. Monitoring Teens on Social Media.

Should a teenager using Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok have their social media use monitored? This is an ethical dilemma many parents of teens face as teenagers spend many hours engaging in online activities daily. For some parents, the question may be: Do I trust my child to use social media responsibly or not?

For others, they may be asking themselves: From a safety standpoint as a parent, should I monitor my teenager’s online activities, or are they old enough to use social media responsibly?

Whichever ethical dilemma they are facing, a parent’s fear of cyberbullying and safety for their children is not unfounded. According to 2018 Pew Research , 21% of 13-15-year-olds, 16% of 16-17-year-olds, and 12% of 18-20-year-olds experienced cyberbullying.

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While anyone utilizing the Internet risks cyberbullying, teens are ill-equipped to deal with such treatment as their brains are not yet fully developed. Therefore, it is a parent’s duty to protect their child from online attacks.

However, since the close monitoring of a teenager’s activities, online or otherwise, may be construed as a lack of trust toward the teen, it can potentially damage or at least put a strain on the parent-child relationship. Therein lies the ethical dilemma and the choices each parent must make.

One father of two teenaged girls chose to monitor their activities, sharing that, above all, “The devices belong to me and my wife, and we are entitled to see anything and everything on them.”

A good way to build trust with your teens may be to spend time playing games or asking “would you rather” questions ; trust will help them know that whether you monitor their online activity, you care.  

2. Ghosting.

This is when you end a relationship by not responding to the other person at all, by just ignoring them, rather than telling them you would like to end the relationship. While ghosting someone is not the nicest of ways to end a relationship, is it morally wrong?

If you believe in kindness, you may struggle as to whether you can live with your decision to ghost someone. Ghosting seems like the easy way out for the one ghosting, but it's hard for the one being ghosted to find closure and move on.

Someone may choose to ghost their soon-to-be ex because they want to avoid conflict. Or maybe they are afraid the other person might lash out and become violent. For whatever reason, facing that person is uncomfortable that they consider ghosting.

If you consider ghosting someone, think about how that could make them feel. Is that really who you are? Getting a fresh and honest perspective may make you think differently if you're considering ghosting someone.

If you've been ghosted, you find some benefit in reading our “ 55 Survival Quotes to Make You Tough in 2023 .”

3. Intentionally Misinterpreting Data.

There are several instances you may find yourself in where you’re tempted to fudge the numbers. Maybe you’re in the corporate world and are tempted or encouraged to share the data in such a way that will cause stockholders to believe their investments are more secure than they are.

Your ethical dilemma may be whether you misinterpret the data and secure your career or share the true numbers and risk losing your job.

An ethical dilemma example of misinterpreting or outright lying about data is the FTX scandal where investors lost billions of dollars on the digital currency platform after being misled  by founder Sam Bankman-Fried. 

4. Selling a Car Without Disclosing All Known Negative Details.

Let's say you're selling your car to upgrade to a newer model. Nothing much is wrong with it, so you fail to disclose the fact that it has trouble starting from time to time; or, that it was involved in an accident.

Should you disclose whatever is wrong with it to potential buyers or do you consider purchasing a used car to be a ‘buyer beware' situation? Uphold your moral standards and make sure you aren’t the subject of someone’s used car sales gone bad story.

5. Cheat on Your Significant Other.

Your relationship has gone south but you're still considered a couple. You meet someone that, well, if you weren't married… But you are; and you stood before an entire congregation of people promising fidelity “til death do us part'.

A few years have passed and you just don't have the same romantic feelings anymore. Whether he's changed or you've changed or you've both changed, you can't quite put your finger on it. Now, you feel like you'd rather get out than stay in.

Since the relationship is rocky, can you justify starting a new relationship? Or, should you stay faithful and risk letting the potential new love of your life get away? Sometimes a person will cheat on their significant other as an act of revenge when they are mad at each other. And sometimes, the decision to cheat ends badly.

If you've made the decision not to cheat, try solidifying your relationship with our advice on relationships. 

6. Should You Lie to a Sick Loved One?

Usually, if someone considers lying, whether they do it or not, it goes against their belief system and in their heart they know that it's wrong. However, whenever the truth would hurt someone you love, it often presents a gray area or a moral dilemma.

There have been instances where family members have either lied or withheld the truth in order to spare the feelings of a sick loved one, particularly in cases of Alzheimer's patients.

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If an Alzheimer's patient asks about a loved one, and that loved one is deceased, finding out about their death all over again can cause them pain. Because of that, some family members will lie to spare their loved one's feelings. Is it ever compassionate to withhold information from your loved one with Alzheimer's?

This may be a dilemma you should discuss with your family members to help make your own personal decision. However, make sure you follow your own moral compass rather than doing what others wish you to do .

7. To Share or Not to Share Political Leanings.

Have you noticed how passionate people are about politics? If you choose to share your political leanings online or in person, you would lose followers, friends, and/or family members.

Some people weigh the options and decide it's not worth it to speak what's on your mind and lose the close contact of others.

Some say it's best to be real, to be authentic, and share any and all beliefs, loud and proud. Before choosing either option, weigh your options. Which choice can you live with? Which one could you not live with?

No matter what you decide, take time to consider the consequences of each choice before firmly making your decision. Then, be prepared to live with those consequences. 

8. Whether to Report an Accident.

If you're in a rush and you pass by and an accident, would you report it? Or would you not, knowing that the next person that passes by most likely would call the authorities?

The moral dilemma would be: risk getting to your meeting late, especially if you have to give an account of what happened to the police; or risk feeling guilty because you chose not to stop and help in a situation and caused the authorities to arrive sooner rather than later or even too late.

If you're struggling about whether you should report an accident as a witness, put yourself in the shoes of those affected by the accident to discover what you should do and how you can help. 

9. To Share or Not to Share Religious Beliefs.

It's been said to never discuss politics or religion. Yet there comes a time in close relationships where the question of whether to share what your beliefs are may come to mind, bringing you face to face with a moral dilemma.

If you know the person you'll be sharing with has beliefs that are different from yours, you may wonder if sharing your beliefs will push them away.

Withholding the information as you grow closer in a relationship may cause several problems: the other person in the relationship may feel you haven't been as open and honest as you should have been, or you may feel conflicted as you want to share but are hesitant to do so.

However, if you feel a kinship with a person on a spiritual level , you may consider sharing your religious views.

If the question of whether you should share your religious views at work arises, you may want to ask yourself why you would consider sharing.

While there are employment laws against discrimination of religion, you need to be careful not to proselytize, which is to try to convert someone, and would be frowned upon in the workplace. 

10. Should You Lie to Your Boss?

Being less than truthful with your boss can have repercussions, depending on the lie. The moral dilemma you may face may be whether you should lie about your experience and education, which could easily be verified. If the lie is less impactful, as in, you call in sick but aren't, you are less likely to get caught in the lie.

In employing your critical thinking skills you may find that you agree its fine to lie to your boss in certain situations. However, does lying to your boss on any level go against your personal moral beliefs? If so, that will create your moral dilemma. 

11. Recalling a Faulty Product.

Let's say you own a business, and it has come to your attention that the product you've shipped and sold has a faulty part.

What would you do? If the part's faultiness would cause harm to someone using the product, that's a serious consideration. If, however, the faultiness may not be noticed and would not cause harm, that may cause you to consider not recalling the product.

The moral dilemma is presented as you determine how you feel about not making the product right and looking out for the best interests of your customers. There is also the legal side of recalling a product.

12. Taking Credit for Your Coworker’s Work.

You've collaborated on a project at work. Your team members have given valuable input that has drawn attention from your management team. You know this recognition could move you closer to a promotion.

Although one of your teammates had the most eye-catching input, should you claim credit for it? After all, it was a team effort, and you'd really like that promotion.

The moral dilemma is doing what's right by giving your teammates the credit they deserve, which would preserve your working relationship or risk your working relationship by claiming the credit for yourself.

To help you make your decision ask yourself whether taking credit for someone else's work is ethical. It would be more beneficial to pursue your own path to promotion without detracting from someone else. 

13. Aborting a Child with Down Syndrome.

When you're expecting a baby, it's generally a joyous occasion. If you find out your baby will be living with life-changing challenges, such as Down syndrome, you may find you're facing a moral dilemma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the life expectancy of babies with Down syndrome increased from 10-years-old in 1960 to 47-years-old in 2007.

real life examples of ethical dilemmas | professional ethical dilemma examples | ethical dilemma scenarios for students

While there are additional challenges associated with a child with Down syndrome, the dilemma basically comes down to the question: how does an abortion fit into your moral beliefs?

You may want to read this article showcasing three families struggling with the moral dilemma of aborting a Down syndrome child. 

14. Should You Tell Your Friend if Her Husband is Cheating?

It's a heavy burden to carry and keep a secret from a friend, especially if you feel that she will be hurt by finding out the truth. You may also be worried about how the information you're intending to share will be received.

If not received well, you could lose a friend. At best, it would likely be an emotional conversation.

Or your moral dilemma might be: should you speak to your friend about the situation or speak to her husband or just do nothing?

No matter what your choice is according to your moral beliefs, I think you can agree this is a sticky situation. If you do decide to tell your friend, do it with finesse.

15. Is It Okay to Take Supplies from Your Office?

Many people work in office settings and for their job functions to be fulfilled, their companies supply tools they need. These tools may be something as simple as paper clips to pens, notebooks, office chairs, and computers.

The moral dilemma becomes when you question whether you should take some of these office supplies home for your own personal use.

According to your belief system, would that be stealing from the company or would it be acceptable? Would it matter if the item you'd like to take is a small item or do you believe, right or wrong, any item would carry the same weight in your decision? 

Final Thoughts on Real-World Ethical Dilemmas

While ethical dilemma examples may go from two difficult choices, to almost impossible choices, I'm sure you and I can agree that it helps to arm yourself with the knowledge of how others have faced similar situations.

In reading through the ethical dilemma examples we've provided, you may have found a pathway to your own answers.

When making your choices, it's in your best interest to keep honesty, integrity, and morality paramount.  The ability to weigh each choice and try to objectively choose for the greater good is beneficial.

Your critical thinking skills will come into play and possibly be challenged when making difficult choices. As you can see from the examples we've provided in this article, some moral dilemmas are quite difficult and the answers are not always clear-cut choices. 

The bottom line is that the examples detailed in this article may help you in making decisions as they arise in your own life, especially when you find them challenging.

A good starting point is to get yourself in the right mindset , consider all the facts, then figure out whether you have the control to make the decision needed before moving forward. Having done that, once you've made your choice, you'll have the satisfaction that you've chosen wisely.

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Focus on Ethics: Ethical Issues—Responsibilities and Dilemmas

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Early childhood educators encounter many ethical issues in the course of their work with children and families. Each of the Focus on Ethics columns in Young Children presents an ethical issue and asks our readers to determine how an early childhood educator might best respond to it.

  • Is it an ethical issue?

As we have written in NAEYC books about professional ethics, when faced with a challenging situation in the workplace, the first thing an early childhood educator needs to do is to determine whether it is an ethical issue. Our experience tells us that this can be a difficult process, one that many are unsure about. The first question you should ask yourself is, “Does it concern right and wrong, rights and responsibilities, human welfare, or individuals’ best interests?” If you answer no to each of these items, the situation is not an ethical issue and you can handle it as you would handle any workplace concern. If you answer yes to any of the items, you are facing an ethical issue. How you respond to it depends on whether it is an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma.

An ethical issue: Is it an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma?

Over the years that we have been conducting workshops and teaching courses about professional ethics, we have found that early childhood educators do not always know the difference between an ethical responsibility and an ethical dilemma, nor are they sure about how each should be approached. To make this distinction clearer, we decided to use this March 2016 column to look at these two kinds of ethical issues.

Ethical responsibilities

Ethical responsibilities are mandates that are clearly spelled out in the  NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct —they describe how early childhood educators are required to act and what they must do

and must not do. The fact is, however, that instead of honoring these responsibilities, even well-meaning and conscientious early childhood educators are sometimes tempted to do what is easiest or what will please others. It is important to remember that when you encounter a situation that involves an ethical responsibility, you must follow the Code’s clear direction. The most important of the responsibilities spelled out in the NAEYC Code is Principle 1.1:

P-1.1—Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children. This principle has precedence over all others in this Code.

You can be confident that when you have done the right thing, the Code is there to back you up. You can rely on it to help you explain why you made a difficult or unpopular decision.

It can be helpful to think of ethical responsibilities as being very similar to legal responsibilities in that they require or forbid a particular action. And sometimes legal and ethical responsibilities are the same—for example, mandating the reporting of child abuse.

Ethical dilemmas

When you determine that a situation involves ethics and you don’t think it is a responsibility, it is likely to be an ethical dilemma. A dilemma is a situation for which there are two possible resolutions, each of which can be justified in moral terms. A dilemma requires a person to choose between two actions, each having some benefits but also having some costs. In a dilemma the legitimate needs and interests of one individual or group must give way to those of another individual or group—hence the commonly used expression "on the horns of a dilemma," describing the two-pronged nature of these situations. The example of an ethical dilemma we often give is the case of the mother who asks a teacher not to let her child nap at school because when he sleeps in the afternoon he has a hard time falling asleep at night. The teacher must choose between honoring the mother's request, which may have a detrimental effect on the child, or refusing the request, which will have a negative impact on the mother.

Ethical dilemmas are sometimes described as situation that involve two "rights." In the case of the nap, the early childhood educator can conclude that it is morally right to allow a child who needs a nap to nap. But it is also right to keep the child from napping to help a busy mother keep the child on schedule.

When you encounter an ethical issue, it may be helpful to remember that it is either a responsibility or a dilemma—its cannot be both. A characteristic of an ethical dilemma is that it involves deliberation. It can rarely be resolved quickly or by simply applying rules and relying on facts. You won't find easy solutions in any article or book for the dilemmas you face in your early childhood workplace. You can, however, learn to work through these difficult deliberations with guidance from the NAEYC Code. When you are certain that you have encountered an ethical dilemma, you can use the process described in the example that follows to help you find a justifiable resolution.

A discussion of the difference between an ethical responsibility and an ethical dilemma, and the process of ethical analysis, is described in detail in Chapter 3 (pages 27-36) of  Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator , second edition. The book also provides examples of how the Code can be applied to a number of dilemmas that recur frequently in early childhood programs.

A New Ethical Issue—“Make sure my child drinks her milk”

Jane, a petite just-turned-3-year-old, is new in Kristen’s class. Jane’s father brings her to school each day at breakfast time.

As required by licensing and the USDA food program, the school serves milk at breakfast and lunch. Like a number of children in the class, Jane refuses milk and drinks water instead. Kristen allows children to make this choice. One day Jane’s father tells Kristen that he and his wife do not want her to allow Jane to drink water until she has drunk at least a full cup of milk. Kristen assures them that she will encourage Jane to drink her milk.

At the next meal, Kristen tells Jane that her family wants her to drink milk so she’ll be healthy and grow strong. Jane sobs uncontrollably. Kristen comforts her and allows her to drink water. She tells Jane she will talk to Jane’s father about letting her drink water. Jane’s eyes grow wide, and she sobs even harder, saying, “Don’t tell Daddy! Don’t tell Daddy!”

Should Kristen honor the wishes of the family or allow Jane to continue to drink water instead of milk? How could she use the NAEYC Code to guide her thinking and decision making in this situation?

The dilemma

This issue’s Focus on Ethics column asks you to consider the story of 3-year-old Jane, whose family does not want her to drink water in school until she has finished drinking her milk. This ethical issue, like others we have presented in previous columns, involves a conflict between requests made by a family member and what teachers think is good practice.

You might use this case as the basis for a staff meeting or an assignment for undergraduate or graduate students, or you might mull it over on your own or with a friend or colleague. We recommend that you use the process we describe in Chapter 3 of Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator to help you reach a well-reasoned response that systematically applies the Code:

1. Determine the nature of the problem

  • If it is an ethical issue, does it involve ethical responsibilities or is it an ethical dilemma? (If it is an ethical responsibility, what does the Code mandate that Kristen do? If it is an ethical dilemma, Kristen can seek a resolution using the steps that follow.)

2. Analyze the dilemma

  • Identify the conflicting responsibilities.
  • Brainstorm possible resolutions.
  • Consider ethical finesse finding a way to meet everyone’s needs without having to make a difficult decision.
  • Look for guidance in the NAEYC Code. Carefully review its Ideals and Principles—particularly those that apply to responsibilities to children and families.
  • Based on your review of the Code and using your best professional judgment, describe what you think is the most ethically defensible course of action in this situation.

When you have finished deliberating on this case and have decided on the best course of action for Kristen, send an email to the coeditors that includes your recommendation and a brief description of how you used the Code to reach this decision.

Information about ethical responsibilities and dilemmas is adapted from two NAEYC books,  Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator: Using the NAEYC Code , second edition, and the newly updated  Teaching the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct: A Resource Guide (forthcoming in spring 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. See Permissions and Reprints online at  www.naeyc.org/yc/permissions .

Photograph: Getty Images

Stephanie Feeney, PhD, is professor emerita of education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is coauthor of NAEYC’s “Code of Ethical Conduct” and NAEYC’s books about professional ethics. She participated in the development of supplements to the code for adult educators and program administrators and has written extensively about ethics in early care and education. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Professionalism in Early Childhood Education: Doing Our best for Young Children  and coauthor of Who Am I in the Lives of Children ?   [email protected]

Stephanie Feeney

Nancy K. Freeman, PhD, is professor emerita of education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she was a member of the early childhood faculty. She has served as president of NAECTE and was a member of its board for many years. Nancy has written extensively on professional ethics since the 1990s, and has been involved in the Code’s revisions and in the development of its Supplements for Program Administrators and Adult Educators.   [email protected]

Nancy K. Freeman

Vol. 71, No. 1

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    ethical dilemma at work essay

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    ethical dilemma at work essay

  6. Ethical Dilemma At Work

    ethical dilemma at work essay

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  1. The Ethical Dilemma of Research In Psychology

  2. The Ethical Dilemma: A Business Skit

  3. Ethical dilemmas & Issues at Workplace -Part 1

  4. Plea Bargaining: Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice

  5. Ethical dilemmas in social work

  6. The Ethical Dilemma

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  1. Ethical Dilemma in the Workplace

    This essay has applied the six steps approach in solving a dilemma in the workplace. The steps include identifying the relevant facts, ethical issues, parties involved, alternatives, consequences of alternatives, and, lastly, the appropriate action. The essay has critically examined this case in order to come up with the most appropriate action ...

  2. 28 Ethical Dilemma Examples (2024)

    23. Pardon of a Death Row Inmate. A governor may face an ethical dilemma where they have to decide between granting a pardon to a remorseful death row inmate (mercy), and upholding the court's decision to execute, based on the gravity of the crime committed (justice). 24. Hate Crime Retribution.

  3. Understanding the Top 10 Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace

    1. Integrity and Honesty. Transparency forms the foundation of trusting relationships between leaders and team members, and between businesses and consumers. Leaders who demonstrate integrity rely on a strong moral compass while showing a clear commitment to honesty in all their actions. This begins with transparency.

  4. Ethical Dilemma in The Workplace, Essay Example

    The use of office computers and the company's internet connection for freelance business is a common occurrence with most workers. This is an ethical dilemma with practically clear conscience about the abuse of company assets. It also equates to violating the public trust and a theft of time as well as money from the work place.

  5. How To Handle Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace (With Tips)

    6. Have a conversation. Consider discussing the ethical dilemma with the person directly to help manage the situation. You can gain perspective, ask clarifying questions and attempt to influence your colleague to make a more ethical decision. They might appreciate your directness and correct their actions.

  6. 5 Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

    Unethical practices spurred more than half of the largest bankruptcies in the past 30 years, like Enron, Lehman Brothers, and WorldCom, and can take a larger economic toll, estimated at $1.228 trillion, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. These numbers suggest you'll likely encounter ethical dilemmas in your workplace.

  7. How to Speak Up About Ethical Issues at Work

    Buy Copies. Sometimes you sense that something isn't right at work. You suspect that your finance colleague might be fudging numbers, your boss isn't telling his manager the truth about an ...

  8. 12 Interesting Ethical Topics for Essay Papers

    40 Writing Topics for Argumentative and Persuasive Essays. By Richard Nordquist. Courage can come in subtle forms, and that can include reporting seeing someone cheat on a test. Cheating on a test might not seem like such a big deal; perhaps you've cheated on a test yourself. But it is against the policies of schools and universities worldwide.

  9. Workplace Ethical Dilemma Essay

    Ethical dilemmas involve an individual's behavior toward a moral standard, which may have been established from previous generations and passed along. In upholding the standards taught individual may be forced to take a particular action involving a decision when a behavior is considered non-ethical is when an ethical dilemma occurs.

  10. Ethical Dilemmas At The Workplace

    638. Page: 1. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Cite this essay. Download. Ethical dilemmas in the workplace are exceptionally typical, and they're not for each situation easy to answer. The thoughts are clear, be that as it may, the ...

  11. Describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma: 7 sample answers

    Interview questions answered: Describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma. Life is not easy, or fair. Employees are not always loyal, and won't do the best thing for the company at all occasions. Actually we face temptation at work every day. A chance to date an attractive colleague, for example, though it may be only an unrealistic ...

  12. Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace

    It identifies eight lenses which offer different perspectives on work dilemmas. The review feeds into our Profession for the Future strategy and will help us develop a clearer definition of what better work and working lives means. Download the report below. Ethical decision-making: Eight perspectives on workplace dilemmas. PDF document 241.9 KB.

  13. Learn How to Write an Ethical Dilemma Essay on Trust My Paper

    An ethical dilemma is facing a decision that, in making that decision, violates a moral principle in order to follow another one. A simple and often used example of a moral dilemma is this: You are on a ship that is sinking, and you must get into a lifeboat. That lifeboat can only hold 10 people without sinking, and there are 11 of you that ...

  14. 6 Ethical Issues in the Workplace and How to Avoid Them

    If you work in HR, understanding these common issues can help you create policies and practices to avoid them in the workplace. Here are six examples of common ethical concerns: 1. Honesty and integrity. A fundamental aspect of ethics in business is honesty and integrity.

  15. PDF A Guide to Writing in Ethical Reasoning 15

    A Guide to Writing in Ethical Reasoning 15 | page 1 Introduction This guide is intended to provide advice for students writing the papers in Ethical Reasoning 15. Most of the paper assignments for the course can be approached flexibly and creatively — there is no single recipe for writing successful papers in the course.

  16. Ethical Dilemma at Workplace Essay

    Better Essays. 1192 Words. 5 Pages. Open Document. Introduction - What is an ethical dilemma? Ethics is the term we give to our concern for good behavior. It is human nature to not only be concerned with our own personal well being, but also that of others and of human society as a whole. The difference between moral dilemmas and ethical ones ...

  17. 6 Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace

    Here's where workplace ethics comes into play. Being different from our everyday life ethics, it can cause dissonance between what you want to do and what you should do. Below, we've collected the most common ethical dilemmas that people face at work - and have to solve. Dilemma #1: What to Mention and What to Omit at a Job Interview?

  18. Nurses experiences of ethical dilemmas: A review

    Only peer-reviewed articles were included and all papers were read thoroughly. ... The 15 original, empirical studies of nurses' experiences of ethical dilemmas in their daily work were analyzed and revealed a broad variety of experiences on the topic. The experiences related to three important aspects of nursing practice: the nurse-patient ...

  19. 15 Ethical Dilemma Examples You See in the Real-World

    Real-World Ethical Dilemma Examples. Often, the best way to mitigate ethical dilemmas is to learn about and seek understanding with real-world examples. Here are 15 examples of real-world ethical dilemmas we trust you'll find useful. 1. Monitoring Teens on Social Media.

  20. Focus on Ethics: Ethical Issues—Responsibilities and Dilemmas

    Resources / Publications / Young Children / March 2016 / Focus on Ethics: Ethical Issues—Responsibilities and Dilemmas. Stephanie Feeney, Nancy K. Freeman. Early childhood educators encounter many ethical issues in the course of their work with children and families. Each of the Focus on Ethics columns in Young Children presents an ethical ...

  21. Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work Practice in Jordan: A Qualitative Study

    Semantic Scholar extracted view of "Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work Practice in Jordan: A Qualitative Study" by A. Alnajdawi et al. ... Search 218,646,234 papers from all fields of science. Search. Sign In Create Free Account. DOI: 10.1007/s41134-024-00310-6; Corpus ID: 269912852;