Ethical Dilemmas in an Organization

Subject: Business Ethics
Pages: 2
Words: 626
Reading time:
3 min

In an organizational setup, leaders and employees are always faced with complex situations that require them to make a choice. During the decision-making-process, the agent is forced to pick between competing outcomes in which either of them will lead to violation of the work ethics. In such a condition, the leader or employee does not know the right choice from the scenario. According to the given scenario, some of the ethical dilemmas experienced are conflict of interest and unethical practices.

Conflict of Interest

Based on the scenario, I am representing the union membership as their president, and I should ensure members’ interest is well taken care of based on the Fair Labor Act. At the same time, I hold the patrol officer position in management, where I am expected to serve according to the organization’s needs. The administration is proposing staff layoff, which is in the best interest of the regime since it will enable the organization to use the allocated budget effectively. On the other hand, the dismissal of staff members will be against their employment rights, and the union should protect them against such layoffs. In this situation, I am in a dilemma of either to protect the interest of administration, that is, to ensure employee layoff process is undertaken, or to negotiate on behalf of the employees against the dismissal plan by the organization. The stakeholders affected by the ethical dilemma are the administration and the union (employees).

Solution to the Dilemma

In this circumstance, I would propose the administration undertakes the layoff program to reduce the number of employees. The management should have enough funds to run its operation effectively, and therefore downsizing the workforce would be appropriate to ensure operation services are met. Since the employees are not terminated due to wrongdoing or unethical conduct, it will be worth it for the administration to reduce the staff. Before dismissing the employees, the management should present the termination criteria so that employees do not feel discriminated against by the act.

Upon termination of the staff, the administration will be able to use the available budget to effectively offer services accordingly. The decision would make management enhance efficiency in their performance. Consequentially, the move will result in employees losing trust in the union because it could not protect them from the layoff exercise. According to consequentialism theory, the outcome of layoff is greater than maintaining employees (Greaves, 2020). If the administration retained the whole staff, it would not have enough funds to finance its operations effectively.

Unethical Practices

Following the advice by the administration to the union about the layoff, employees have promised to reduce their work rate, which will reduce the effectiveness of the department. On the other side, the administration has not indicated the approach it will use to dismiss the staff members, which is against their conduct. In this case, employees and administration have gone against the work ethics. Without proper guidelines of the termination process, victims of the process will feel discriminated which is unethical. Work slowdown will affect the administration as most of the essential tasks will not be completed in time. Similarly, dismissing employees without proper guidelines will affect most union members who will feel discriminated in the act.

Solution to the Dilemma

The result administration should lay off employees even though it is not morally right. The action will save the management from operation issues due to a lack of finances (Heinzelmann, 2018). It would be appropriate for both the administration and union to follow the code of ethics that directs factors to consider before dismissal from employment. The solution will make the department run effectively because of enough budget while the employees will have a work slowdown due to the termination of other staff members.


Greaves, H. (2020). Global Consequentialism. In The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism.

Heinzelmann, N. (2018). Deontology defended. Synthese, 195(12), 5197-5216.