Practical Application: Ethical Dilemma Scenarios for Stakeholders

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Stakeholders of a business often face ethical scenarios that need quick and effective action. In this lesson, you'll be able to apply what you know about stakeholder ethics to resolve three hypothetical scenarios.

Ethical Dilemmas

Company stakeholders, those people inside or outside of an organization that may be affected by the work or decisions of a business, often find themselves in the midst of ethical dilemmas and difficult situations that need to be resolved. As you learned in the Stakeholder-Based Approach to Ethical Decision Making lesson, the stakeholder-based approach provides a framework for evaluating the potential impact of decisions on stakeholders before choosing a direction.

In this practical application activity, you'll get to apply what you know about stakeholder ethics. You'll analyze a few hypothetical scenarios and determine what solutions need to be implemented to resolve the situation.

Scenario #1

Tara is a member of the research team at PJ's Portable Protein Bars, which has been involved in a project to deliver carbohydrate-free protein bars to consumers. Just as the company is gearing up its marketing efforts and is preparing to do a soft launch of its new product, Tara takes one last look at the nutrition data of the new protein bars. She discovers that, due to some incorrect calculations, the protein bars are not ''carb-free'' but contain up to three carbs per serving. Tara approaches her research manager with the finding, but he says the discovery is minimal and won't impact consumers, so they should keep the information quiet.

  • Will Tara's discovery impact stakeholders?
  • Should Tara keep quiet about her discovery?

Scenario #2

Tom has been tasked with leading a team of environmental experts through his plant. The experts are there to ensure that clean-up efforts from a recent spill into a nearby river have been successfully completed and that precautions have been put in place to prevent future calamities. The experts ask Tom about the procedures that his company has implemented, but Tom knows the procedures were only established in anticipation of the visit and that no real precautionary measures have been detailed. He is unsure how to respond because he wants to be truthful, but he fears for his job.

  • Could the lack of real precautionary measures impact stakeholders?
  • Should Tom be truthful about the lack of real precautionary measures or should he keep quiet to avoid risking his job?

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