Ethical Dilemmas usually occur in business situations as well as everyday life. It might
be a simple problem like whether to lie about deadline requirement to get work done faster or
something tricky like whether to manipulate facts and figures in financial statements. The core
value system of the individual making such decision has a big role in the extent of his or her
ethical manipulation. Competitive pressure might force companies to make ethical decisions
radically different from what their value system might relay (Crane & Matten, 2016). This paper
discusses how companies handle ethical dilemmas with help of examples.
One way companies handle ethical dilemmas is by ensuring effective communication
with their employees. An example of a scenario which creates an ethical dilemma which might
effective communication with the employees are service bonds in companies (Ferrell &
Fraedrich, 2015). A widely used vehicle in corporate culture today is service bonds issued by the
company to all its new employees. They state that the employee must stay within the company
for a given duration before switching. An ethical dilemma appears when the company hires
someone who has an offer or opportunity in the near future. An example is when freshers are
hired waiting for an MBA admission as a failsafe option. After the admission goes through they
leave the firm. The bond does not hold any value in court thus a company might harass an
employee but cannot recover the amount mentioned in the bond.
Companies also use moral compass to handle ethical issues which arise. An example of
an ethical dilemma related to this is how to best recognize individual contribution in a team-
based environment. It is wishful thinking for companies to assume all employees contribute
equally to a success of a project. The however dilemma arises where an employee in a team
COMPANY ETHICS DILEMMA 3
trying to gain credit for work he or she had a minimal contribution in. some employees unrelated
to the project still try to leverage it to get a boost in salary raise or promotions in what is called
Another way by which companies handle ethical dilemmas is.by creating strong
corporate values in the workplace. An example of an ethical dilemma which might require such
solution is Lehman Brothers Services India LTD, which was a premium investment bank and an
employer of 25000 people. The company evoked a sense of loyalty and pride before bankruptcy
changed all that. The employees were left in an ethical dilemma since on one hand, the company
had supported their families, while on the other hand they had to decide quickly about their
future course of action which would affect their families.
In conclusion, ethical dilemmas remain a challenge for many companies and their
employees. Companies should develop strong corporate values to ensure decisions that are
“right” as well as beneficial to the maximum number of people, not just the company are made
when an ethical dilemma arises (Trevino & Nelson, 2016). Effective communication, use of
moral compass and creating strong corporate values should be some ways to handle ethical
dilemmas in companies.
COMPANY ETHICS DILEMMA 4
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and
sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do
it right. John Wiley & Sons.