Ethics Case Study

Dilemma 1: The data analyst
Blair, a data analyst for a major casino, is working after normal business hours to finish an important project. He realises that he is missing data that had been sent to his co-worker Sam. Blair and Sam are also friends. In their spare time they play tennis together.
Blair had inadvertently observed Sam typing her password several days ago and decides to log into Sam’s computer and resend the data to himself. Upon doing so, Blair sees an open email regarding gambling bets Sam placed over the last several days with a local sports bookmaker. All employees of the casino are forbidden to engage in gambling activities to avoid any hint of conflict of interest.
Blair knows he should report this but would have to admit to violating the company’s information technology regulations by logging into Sam’s computer. If he warns Sam to stop his betting, he would also have to reveal the source of his information.
From an ethical perspective, what would you recommend Blair do in this situation?

Dilemma 2: The bank teller
Jasmin has been working as a bank teller for several months. She has become good friends with one of the other tellers, Isaac. Isaac tells Jasmin that his daughter is extremely ill. The daughter needs an operation to survive. Isaac also tells Jasmin that he has no insurance and the operation will involve out of pocket expenses of $32,000.
Sometime later Jasmine asks Isaac about his daughter. Isaac tells Jasmine his daughter is just fine now. He then confides to Jasmine that he took $32,000.00 from a dormant account at the bank to pay for the operation. He assures Jasmin that he has already started paying it back and will continue to do so until it is all returned.
From an ethical perspective, what would you advise Jasmin to tell her supervisor, if anything?

Dilemma 3: The public servant
Grace is the Chief Marketing Officer within the Department of Development. Over the past three years Grace has overcome a drug addiction. As a result of her personal experience Grace volunteers for the national drug addiction support hotline and actively likes and contributes to social media posts relating to anti-drug campaigns.
In line with an on-going global trend, the Government has approved the regulated sale of cannabis. Grace is directed by Sandra, her boss, to lead a high profile marketing campaign targeting potential cannabis growers and retailers.
While Grace initially objects to being assigned the task on the grounds she is “anti-drugs”, Sandra reminds Grace of two key principles in a recently approved Code of Conduct for the Personal Use of Social media by Public Servants.

In general, Public Sector employees must not engage in social media activity that may lead a reasonable person to conclude that they cannot serve the government of the day impartially and professionally; andIf an employee becomes aware of another employee who is engaging in conduct that may breach this policy, there is an expectation that the employee will report the conduct to the department. Sandra directs Grace to immediately (1) remove her anti-drug social media likes, and (2) cease her social media activity in this area. Otherwise, Sandra would have to report Grace to the Public Service Commission for breach of the Code. From an ethical perspective, advise Grace on whether she should comply with Sandra’s direction. Dilemma 4: The supermarket manager Seb is the store manager for a Collies Supermarket in a small country town, Wallabi Point. While the store is part of a national chain of supermarkets, the Wallabi Point store is struggling financially and, if revenue does not improve over the next year the store will be closed, leaving only one small supermarket to service the town. Earlier this year Collies head office introduced a nation-wide ban on plastic disposable bags in an effort to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint. While Seb is generally supportive of environmental issues, the ban has led to a direct 15% reduction in the turnover of Seb’s store. The drop in sales has really hit impulse purchases hard. Customers reported they were not buying as many impulse purchasers now because they can’t carry it out of the store. Furthermore, it looks like customers are moving to the nearby Waldos store – Seb’s key competitor. Seb has just received a new edict from head office. They are looking for stores to take on a marketing campaign in which customers are given (i.e. free of charge) a plastic collectable character from a highly successful movie and game franchise for every $50 spent in the store. The purpose of the campaign was to entice customers from Collies’ biggest rival Waldos and trials indicate it can increase the store’s revenue by up to 20%. As part of his research, Seb comes across a confidential internal Collies report that the environmental harm caused by disposable plastic bags is much less than that caused by the collectables. From an ethical perspective advise Seb, the store manager, whether he should sign the store up for the campaign.

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Ethics Case Study

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