Business Law a Good Team Player Case Study Essay

Case Study: A Good Team Player

Topic: Leadership

Involved Parties:

  • Steven, Assistant Department Manager
  • Kristin, Newly appointed supervisor of Steven’s work team

Having done well as a staff accountant in the accounts payable section of a major industrial firm for several years since his graduation from college, Steven felt that he had learned much about the “ins” and “outs” of survival in an intensely bureaucratic organization. It is thus not surprising that he was relaxed and unconcerned about his circumstances at the company as he entered the employee lounge to attend the late-afternoon welcoming reception for his new supervisor.

The new manager of accounts payable, Kristin, had been transferred to Steven’s division from a similar position in another subsidiary of the company because of her proven talent for organizing and improving the efficiency of operations there. A no-nonsense type of manager, Kristin was experienced and determined to perform her new assignment with the same vigor that had brought her so much success throughout her career.

At the reception, Kristin circulated through the room, introducing herself to her new subordinates and asking each of them if they had any suggestions that would help make the payables section a better place to work. When she approached Steven, he told her about something that had been on his mind lately: that people seemed to him to gain promotions and be given opportunities to work overtime based on who liked them and not on the quality of their work. In reply, Kristin politely stated that she would do everything that she could to see that whatever it was he was referring to would have no place in the team she would lead.

Upon his arrival at work the next day, Steven received a phone call from Kristin’s secretary asking that he meet with his new boss later that morning. He had barely entered her office for the meeting when she looked him straight in the eye and said, “I will not tolerate individuals in this organization who are not good team players. Yesterday afternoon you led me to believe that there are people in this office who are not acting in the best interests of the company, and I want to know who. I want you to tell me the names of the managers you were referring to note, and keep me informed if you see anyone hurting this company, or I’ve got to think that maybe you’re part of the problems around here.” Stunned by both the tone and content of her statement, Steven quickly tried to think of a way to respond.

How should Steven respond?

For this assignment, your peers will be evaluating your work with the following criteria.

  • Identifies all the relevant facts of the case.
  • articulates overarching ethical issues including the extent of Stevens’s responsibility to take action.
  • Identifies the various stakeholders, and what is at stake for each one.
  • Poses possible alternatives and ethics of each alternative. Paper should explore the possible alternatives and ethics from the Utilitarian Perspective, the Rights Perspective,or the Justice Perspective.
  • Identifies all practical constraints.
  • Recommends a specific action Steven should take, directly answers the question “how should Steven respond?”
  • Is of high quality, writing is clear and professional, paper is organized and flows in a logical way.

Answer:

Identifying Relevant Facts:

  1. Steven is an experienced staff accountant in the accounts payable section.
  2. Kristin, a no-nonsense manager, has been appointed as Steven’s new supervisor.
  3. During a welcoming reception, Steven expresses concerns about promotions being based on personal favoritism rather than merit.
  4. Kristin responds by stating her commitment to addressing such issues.
  5. Kristin summons Steven to her office the next day and demands names of individuals not acting in the company’s best interests.

Overarching Ethical Issues: The primary ethical issue is the pressure placed on Steven to disclose information about his colleagues, potentially leading to a breach of trust and confidentiality. Additionally, there is the issue of whether promotions and opportunities are indeed based on merit or favoritism, raising questions about fairness and equity in the workplace.

Stakeholders and Their Stakes:

  • Steven: His job security, reputation, and ethical integrity are at stake.
  • Kristin: Her leadership style, reputation, and ability to address concerns within the team are at stake.
  • Other employees: Their trust in the management and perception of fairness in promotions are at stake.
  • The company: Its culture, morale, and productivity are at stake.

Possible Alternatives and Ethics:

  1. Disclose Names: From a Utilitarian perspective, Steven may feel compelled to comply with Kristin’s demand to avoid repercussions and potentially improve team dynamics. However, this risks breaching trust and confidentiality, impacting the Rights of the individuals named.
  2. Refuse to Disclose: From a Rights perspective, Steven may choose to uphold the confidentiality of his colleagues, protecting their rights to privacy and fair treatment. However, this may lead to strained relations with Kristin and potential repercussions for Steven.
  3. Seek Guidance: From a Justice perspective, Steven may seek guidance from HR or higher management to address concerns about promotions and favoritism in a fair and impartial manner. This could uphold principles of fairness and transparency.

Practical Constraints:

  • Fear of reprisal from Kristin or other superiors.
  • Lack of clear company policies or support mechanisms for addressing ethical concerns.
  • Potential impact on Steven’s job security and career advancement prospects.

Recommendation for Steven’s Response: Given the ethical dilemmas involved and the potential consequences of disclosing names, Steven should respectfully but firmly refuse to disclose the names of his colleagues to Kristin. He should emphasize his commitment to confidentiality and ethical integrity, while expressing a willingness to work collaboratively with Kristin to address any concerns in a fair and impartial manner. Additionally, he should consider seeking guidance from HR or other appropriate channels to address the broader issue of promotions and favoritism in the workplace.

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