The following report has the purpose to provide a situation analysis of the current legal and ethical aspect of Electropic LLC Case File, one of Colossal’s technology companies. Since the ethical aspect of this case is very complex we have approached the case from the Badaracco’s right versus right framework and its four peculiar question and three particular test including but not limited to explain which way of proceeding is going to get the best net-net consequence; which individual and which group have rights we cannot violate, what messages do we want to send about my ideas and principles and what will work in the world as it is.
In general, we have tried to explain the three specific Badaracco’s right versus right framework including the Newspaper test, walking a mile in someone’s else shoes and the obituary or best friend test.
During the initial funding I could state that using this framework, the easiest way out to this case scenario would be if we don't take any action at all, that is the best option for everyone, for the worried employee, the management, the Human Resources side as well as the corporation. Why? June Pyle has been a stellar employee since the time she was hired to the present. She has developed the necessary skills to get promoted to the next available promotion not only due her ability to perform her job but due to the trust she had got from her management.
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However, in my opinion company's policy of hiring only MBA grads is the key for successful HR strategies. Every individual is different in its own ways but to give everyone a fair chance HR department design such policy, which in turn harm few but benefit a lot of them. In this case, June Pyle has already proved her worth to the organization and deserve to be the senior vice president, as per her performance. But long ago she lied to the company for the job due to personal valid reasons. So, I would give her a chance to do right what she did wrong a long ago and will hold her promotion till when she did not complete her MBA. and for that time Melissa Aldredge could be the senior vice president.
Electropic LLC Scenario
This is the whole story behind this case scenario. Electropic LLC is a respected and profitable website design and hosting company in Colossal Corporation's technology group. Melissa Aldredge has been a project manager at Electropic LLC for several years and was recently considered for promotion to a senior project manager position. Ultimately, the promotion was awarded to another long-term employee, June Pyle. June and Melissa have a history of one-upping each other and sharing an internal rivalry within the company.
Melissa recently reported internally that she had learned that June, who was given the promotion over her, had never finished her MBA degree. All of June's business cards have "MBA" after her name, and the signature line of her email reads "June Pyle, MBA."
The requirement to submit transcripts for all degrees listed on their resumes. was not in place 10 years ago when June Pyle was hired. June has a history of stellar performance and was promoted not because of her MBA, but because of her consistently exemplary work. June has received excellent performance evaluations during her time at Electropic LLC, and her leadership has led to increased revenue for the company.
The director of human resources sent an email to all employees who were hired prior to the policy change requiring transcript validation, asking that they provide transcripts to validate their credentials. June did not respond to the director's request for transcripts and was called into the director's office. In a very tense and tearful interview, June confessed to the director that she does not have an MBA. She admitted that she was 12 credits away from completing her degree, but when her dad got sick, she had to drop out. She said that she really needed a job to support her family and she put the MBA on her resume hoping it would help her find a job. She shared that she always intended to go back to school but became so busy with work that she didn’t have time. Once she was hired, she felt that there was no turning back and she had to keep the lie going by placing "MBA" in her email signature line and on her business cards.
10 years ago, June Pyle must have got preference over other candidates competing for the post of assistant project specialist because of an MBA which she did not complete. What she did was ethically very wrong.
Now, she got promoted to the post of senior vice president based on her excellent work record. 4 years ago, MBA was made compulsory to hold the post of vice president. According to the information provided by Pyle and the excellent work record she got promoted but, she does not hold an MBA degree. So, ethically the HR department must not promote her to the position of senior vice president until she completes her MBA.
Instead of her, the second choice Melissa Aldredge should be promoted to the post of senior vice president. He was very much affected (evident due to his voice on the voicemail) when he came to know that she isn't an MBA and is promoted instead of him.
Here, the HR department and the ethical officer must choose between what is right and what is right. It is right to promote June Pyle to the post of senior vice president because she is very deserving which is clear from her excellent records. It is also right not to promote her because she isn't having an MBA degree.
Lying on resume (Pyle lying on completing her MBA) can bring legal action to the employee.
She can be criminally charged for this. She can serve up to 1 year in prison or be liable for fine up to $2000.
The company has the rights to sue her for misrepresentation and may even fire her, but it is not of any help for the company as she is a very hardworking employee. But if Melissa Aldredge isn't made the senior VP then she may create a commotion and the company will have to do so (she may even take legal action for disclination and other employees will also tend to join him).
So, it is best to keep her at what position she is, make her complete her MBA and for now make Melissa Aldredge the senior vice president.
To: Director, HR
From: AA YY ZZ, Ethical Officer
Subject : Regarding the MBA qualification for senior vice president position with reference to June Pyle
Date : 12/01/18
I would like to say that the appointment of June Pyle is legitimate as assistant project specialist as she held the minimum qualification required for the job. Further, I would like to say that promotion of other senior vice presidents is also legitimate as the MBA requirement was not in place at the time of their promotion to the position. Further, I would like to clarify that:
1. June Pyle hides the fact at the time of promotion to the senior vice president position, even if the requirement of submission of documents were not in place. It was illegitimate and unethical on the part of June Pyle.
2. Senior vice president position required, MBA qualification and it was declared four years ago, well before the promotion of June Pyle.
In the light of the above facts, I would like to recommend that:
1. Promotion of June Pyle should be kept on hold with all the additional benefits, salary hike and other perks.
2. June Pyle should discharge her responsibilities as vice president unless she fulfills the minimum qualification for being a senior vice president.
3. June Pyle should be given a period to achieve her required credit of MBA program and become eligible for the concerned position. Afterwards, she can be reconsidered for the senior vice president position
With warm regards
AA YY ZZ, Ethical Officer
Badaracco Ethical analysis is about choosing between right vs right dilemma. It is more about two paths and both are right, and one can choose only one. Using Badaracco framework we would be able to answer the following questions; Which course of action will do the most good and the least harm; Which alternative best serves others' rights, including shareholders' rights; What plan can I live with, which is consistent with basic values and commitments and Which course of action is feasible in the world as it is.
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With that being said we could conclude that If we don't take any action, that is the best option for everyone. For the concerned employee, the HR as well as the company, this is the best. She has been doing her job very well. The day she was selected, the qualification was also not at that place and hence, this moral transgressional can be ignored at.
If I consider the rights of others, there is another disgruntled employee who has complained to set scores. Though I welcome that he brought this information out and it was his way to get even, we as a company strongly believes in team work. I am afraid that this guy can be a good team member. Hence, even if we fire her, he is least likely to get that position.
I can live with her being in the position. Yes, she has faked a qualification. As mentioned above, the qualification was not the benchmark at that time and it was introduced later. Hence, I can live with this minor moral transgression.
This action is NOT feasible in longer run. Reason being what if everyone starts doing that. Hence, we need to do something about this.
Hence, the moral course will involve two actions:
- Ensuring that everyone's concerns are taken care off
- There must be a lesson out of it.
Later, the concerned employee needs to be made aware that considering her good work as well as important contributions to the organization, she has been retained, However, her actions can't be ignored completely. Later, she will lose her seniority for one year. She will continue to work at the position as she was earlier. After one year is completed, she will be reconsidered for promotion along with other employees.
After analyzing the Pyle's case, if would suggest that Pyle shall be given a chance to finish off her MBA, procure a certificate, and produce the same. This will keep Pyle away from the work for some time, for which we can give her special permission to finish off her education. Since Pyle is depressed for not getting promoted, this would be right reason for us to tell her that, her promotion is due since she did not complete her degree. Later, she could complete the sale and come back for a promotion.
The benefit is, she can get her degree to materialize it on our records, and at the same time, take some time off her work career. Since she has not been promoted, she is under depression, and this option would give her a relief to keep away her mind away from work, study, get rejuvenated and get back to us as with a transformed personality, which is ethically right and a win-win situation for her and for the company as well.
Sometimes if we look at the problems from a different angle the answer can amaze us and at the same time, we could be the right one too.
In my opinion company's policy of hiring only MBA grads is the key for successful HR strategies. Every individual is different in its own ways but to give everyone a fair chance HR department design such policy, which in turn harm few but benefit a lot of them. In this case, June Pyle has already proved her worth to the organization and deserve to be the senior vice president, as per her performance. But long ago she lied to the company for the job due to personal valid reasons. So, the company can give her a chance to do right what she did wrong a long ago and will hold her promotion till when she did not complete her MBA. and for that time Melissa Aldredge could be the senior vice president.
In this case, only ethics are on the line, as both the candidates are almost on the par with each other in terms of capabilities. So, the company can deliver a strong message to everyone by backing the HR policy of hiring MBA grads only.
As at the time of her education she had to leave early due to her father's health. if it will prove in the investigation then the company can go ahead with the plan suggested.
The company needs to sign a contract with all the parties involved in the June and Melissa with clear obligations on the part of all the parties. Such as June need to complete her MBA from the top institute till then Melissa will be the SVP and once, she will be back top management will review Melissa’s performance in the post and will take the decision and that decision will be binding on all the parties.
- Badaracco Jr., Joseph L. 2002, Defining Moments: A Framework for Moral Decisions. Harvard Business School Faculty Seminar Series
- Electropic LLC, Retrieved on November 24, 2018 from https://leocontent.umuc.edu/content/umuc/tgs/mba/mba630/2188/course-resource-list/electropic-llc.html?ou=325134
- Business Law, Course Text, Business Professor Inc. Retrieved on Nov 25, 2018 from https://thebusinessprofessor.com/books/business-law-course-text/
- Resume Misrepresentation, Retrieved on Nov 2018 from https://leocontent.umuc.edu/content/umuc/tgs/mba/mba630/2188/learning-resourcelist/resume-misrepresentations.html?ou=325134
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