CASE 01. ETHICAL DILEMMA
A CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOR SOUTHERN X LTD
John Kolikias, managing director of Southern X Ltd, fixed his gaze on the numbers on the screen. They were exciting. If correct, the innovation would be highly lucrative. The profits of their mobile phone subsidiary would literally explode. John sighed with relief. Southern X had been struggling for the last two years and its share price had plummeted by 40 percent. If the business didn’t turn around soon, a major restructuring would be necessary.
Keith Barnes, financial controller, switched off the Power presentation. “Very impressive, Keith” said John. “Well, what do the rest of you think?”
Vijay Mehta, Telco divisional manager, smile. ‘I think it’s terrific. You know I have been arguing for this for months. This is exactly what we need – it is a licence to print money’
‘I agree’, chipped in Robin Antoinetti, manufacturing manager.
John looked at the group of senior managers. ‘All right, I think, I take it the consensus is that we do it’
Jo Santini, HR director, leant forward to speak. ‘Financially, the profit is terrific. It’s the moral issue that worries me.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Vijay.
‘Come on Vijay, providing soft porn for our mobile phone subscribers to download isn’t something that I think our company should do’
‘Jo, you’ve seen Keith’s projections. If they are even half correct, the move into soft porn could save our company from financial collapse.’
‘I know, but I think it’s morally wrong. It’s not the sort of business I believe Southern X should be associated with.’
‘I hope you feel just as moral, Jo, when you have to hand out the termination notices’, interjected Keith.
‘What we are proposing is perfectly legal. It’s just that you haven’t caught up with current community standards!’ snapped Vijay.
‘Look, I am afraid Vijay is correct. Keith’s figures are all too clear. We do this or we reduce headcount’, said John.
‘What is it to be Jo –...
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