Student Question

Activity: Workplace Ethics: Case Studies: For each of the following case studies, assume you are employed by a large computer company with approximately 1,000 employees. The company is located in your town. Read each case study and follow the problem-solving steps for making ethical decisions. Case 1: LaKeisha is an administrative assistant in the Human Resources Department. Her good friend Michael is applying for a job with the company and has agreed to be a reference for him. Michael asks for advice on preparing for the interview. LaKeisha has the actual interview questions asked of all applicants and considers making him a copy of the list so he can prepare. Activity 1: Continued—Steps to Solving Ethical Dilemmas: Identify the problem or ethical issue: What are the facts? What are some possible solutions? What are you going to do?

Quick answer:

The possible solutions in this scenario are that LaKeisha can give Michael the interview questions or help him prepare for the interview, such as by helping him practice answering questions that might pertain to any interview. The ethical solution is to help Michael prepare, as this guarantees a fair opportunity to all applicants.

Expert Answers

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Ethical Issue: LaKeisha has information that could help a friend obtain a job, but it is at an unfair advantage to other applicants.

Facts: LaKeisha considers Michael a good potential employee, as she has agreed to be a reference for him. Michael wants to do a great job and values LaKeisha's insights. He has asked her to help him prepare. LaKeisha knows the inner workings of the company and knows what type of employee they would be looking to hire. LaKeisha has the interview questions in her possession.

Possible Solutions: LaKeisha could give her friend the clear advantage by providing the actual questions he will be asked during the interview. Or she could help him prepare, as he has asked her to do, by going over general interview questions that are typical in any interview.

What to Do: The ethical choice is to help Michael prepare for the interview without actually giving him the questions. This allows for a more equal opportunity for all applicants, and if Michael shines during the interview, he has proven himself based on his own merits. (Consider how LaKeisha would feel if she gave Michael the questions, leading to his being hired, and then he was the totally wrong fit for the company.) This also allows Michael to obtain needed interview practice for any interview he might face in the future, whether he is hired by LaKeisha's company or not.

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