As defined by Ethical Dilemma Examples (nd.), an ethical dilemma that is also referred to as a moral dilemma is a situation that presents a choice between two distinct options where none is resolving the issue at hand in an ethically acceptable way.
The situation requires one to select the option that holds the least harm and with the most benefits to the parties involved. From the analysis of Harry’s case study, it is apparent that there are different ethical dilemmas presented. The first dilemma in the case is presented to Harry after Jill, the IT manager at the company rejected his program and opined that it was dangerous hence could not be embraced by the company.
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Analytically, Harry was in a dilemma to either give up on his dream or force its operation by pursuing higher authorities in the company despite Jill’s misgivings. He chose the earlier but released the program to the internet users where he assisted his prospective customers, a move that got him sacked. Nevertheless, his consultant role made his program known to Iris Bigg, the owner of the company, who ordered Brockley, the manager to urgently look for Harry (Lock Smith) since he considered him an asset to the company.
That presented the major ethical dilemma since Brockley supported Jill’s move to sack Harry. The situation presents to ethical options where each selection does not seem to solve the issue in an acceptable way to Brockley. First, calling back an employee, whom he had previously sacked will not only hurt his personality as the manager but will also prove his incompetence as he will be forced to embrace the same program he had rejected. The other option is going against his employer’s demands to look for Harry, to avoid the apparent shame, a move that will put him in trouble with Bigg. Although each selection holds unfavorable aspect to Brockley, he is required to make a choice.
Apparently, Brockley is presented with an ethical dilemma that required him to make the most favorable choice to maximize the benefits and minimize the possible harm to himself and also the other people involved. Making of an ethical selection involves a four-step ethical analysis and decision-making process that allows a proper analysis of the situation is hence making the most suited choice (Craft, 2013 p. 230). Below is an overview of the four distinct steps of ethical analysis and decision-making process.
Step 1: Understanding the situation The first key step in making an ethical choice is understanding the situation and all aspects at stake. That involves the listing of the various facts, the aspects bringing ethical issues, and the individuals involved. That will enable an individual to realize the importance of making the right selection to save the noted shareholders from the potential harm.
In the case of Brockley, it is apparent that the ethical situation resulted from his decision to fire Harry without considering his program. He supported Jill blindly, a move that got him into the situation. Among the various shareholders involved in the ethical case is Brockley, Jill, Harry, and Bigg. Analytically, each choice holds some potential harm to different parties. First, if Brockley decides to look for Harry as instructed, he will hurt his personality and that of Jill, who are the superiors in the organization. Indeed, they will feel humiliated and incompetent by going back to support Harrys program that they had previously ejected and strongly discouraged. Second, if he decides not to call Harry back, he will have ignored his employers command that may cost him his work. That may also impact Bigg and the organization as they may lose Harry, who was considered a major asset.
Step 2: Isolate the Major Ethical Dilemma The step involves the selection and separation of the major ethical choice despite its apparent consequences to different parties involved. In the case study, the most ethical dilemma is looking for Harry. That is because although it will ridicule Brockley and Jills earlier choices to fire Harry, the choice holds the least harm and also some benefits to the parties involved. In making a choice, Brockley will sacrifice his ego to save his job by adhering to his superiors demand.
Step 3: Ethical analysis Ethical analysis step in decision-making involved the analysis of the decision made in the second step. That will allow a proper understanding of the consequences, hence preparing oneself for the outcome. From the Brockleys dilemma, if the action in step II is done, Brockley and Jill will be harmed where they will feel their earlier decision demeaned. That may further impact their work relationship, especially with Harry if he learned about what transpired. If the action in step II is not done, the most individuals may be harmed where Brockley may be fired for disobeying orders, Harry will lose the chance to introduce his program to the company, hence earning more money, and Bigg may lose Harrys expertise that would boost his company. Fundamentally, the first alternative result in the least harm. That is because the Brockley can ensure that Harry does not learn about the whole case. Moreover, hurting their ego cannot be compared with losing his job proving that the selection has the least harm. It the step is done, Harry and the company will benefit. While the earlier will get a chance to earn, the company will take advantage of the program. If the action is not done, Brockley will benefit since his authority will not be questioned. Critically, calling Harry back is the option with the maximum benefit to the most parties as well as the company.
Conclusively, doing step II holds the least harm and the maximum benefit” hence Brockley makes the selection. That will benefit him, Harry, and the company through an overall improvement of its performance. Under Kants categorical imperative, it is apparent that although Brockley and Jill will be treated with disrespect if step II is done, it will be the right move since their initial actions were not justified. As such, the action will ensure justice for all since there was no enough reason to fire Harry. That proves that the alternative in the most preferred. Critically, Brockley had neglected his duties to investigate the reason that Jill wanted to fire Harry. Instead, he chose to trust the earlier hence making a subjective decision.
Step 4: Making a decision Making of a defensible ethical decision is the last step that involves making a defensible ethical decision and listing of the various steps needed in implementing the decision (Spector, 2016 p. 1010). In the case study, it is conclusive that following Biggs order is the defensible ethical decision as it holds the least negative impacts and the most benefits. In its implementation, Brockley requires talking to Jill about it because he approved the decision to fire Harry. Moreover, that will allow him to understand the specific reasons that made Jill decide to fire Harry hence gaining a better understanding of the scenario. Notwithstanding, his criticism may be imperative in improving Harrys program, hence more benefits to the company.
ReferencesCraft, J.L., 2013. A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 2004-2011. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(2), pp.221-259.
Ethical Dilemma Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.htmlSpector, J.M., 2016.
Ethics in educational technology: towards a framework for ethical decision-making in and for the discipline. Educational Technology Research and Development, 64(5), pp.1003-1011.
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