Dilemmas with Co-Workers
Another common origin for ethical dilemmas can be our co-workers. After all, if you work full time in an office, then you spend more of your waking hours with the people at work than you do your immediate family.
In this session, you’ll consider some common dilemmas that stem from co-workers, and how you might respond.
Another common source of ethical dilemmas in the workplace is our co-workers. There are three common types of situations in this category.
You’ve found out something that a co-worker should know, but you can’t tell him/her.
Here’s a classic dilemma: you and your best friend work for the same company. She’s pregnant and she and her husband are planning to buy a house. You’ve just found out, however, that there’s a 75% chance that she will be laid off in the next six months.
Your co-worker asks you to do something unethical.
It’s Thursday night, 9 p.m., and you and your colleague are putting the final touches on a key report for a 9 a.m. meeting. You notice that some crucial numbers are missing. Your colleague says, “Let’s just put in some likely numbers; we can always pass it off as a mistake by the data entry department later.”
You see a co-worker doing something unethical.
You work for a small programming company. The company prides itself on developing all its code by hand and in fact mandates that its staff do so. You recently saw one of your colleagues, who has been with the company a long time, pulling code from a competitor’s application.
These types of situations are the ones that you will encounter often in the workplace. This is why it is so important to be “ethically fit,” as Rushworth Kidder puts it. You need to know where you stand on ethical issues, what your values and principles are, and how you will solve ethical dilemmas, so that when these issues arise you have a framework for dealing with them.