General Instructions PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY
The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated folder.
Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.
Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page.
- Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.
Late submission will NOT be accepted.
- Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions.
- All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).
- Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.
- Learning Outcomes:
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
Illustrate the role of social responsibility in the functional areas and strategic processes of business and a comprehensive framework for analyzing and resolving ethical issues and dilemmas in an organization.
Write coherent project about a case study or actual research about ethics
Read the case given and answer the questions:
An Ethical Dilemma*
As Lavonda sat in the Ethics Office of the vice president of Emma-Action Pharmaceuticals (EAP), she was worried. Because she was new in the company and didnt know the unwritten rules, the chain-of-command philosophy, and the employees and associates around her very well, her time in the office was very uncomfortable. Given how well things had started, it was painful for her to remember how she had gotten here. Lavonda had been lured away from her last company because of her expertise in the pharmaceutical industry and her early success in management. Out of college just three and a half years, she had gotten out of the gate remarkably quickly. She had helpful mentors, challenging tasks that she excelled in, and came in below budget on each assignment. Lavonda was typically described as effective and efficient; in fact, at the last company, they even started to call her E. But the lure of a six-figure salary, the encounter with Allen (her future boss at EAP), and the chance to be close to her elderly mother made it nearly impossible for Lavonda to say no. She loved her mother and, being an only child, felt responsible for her. Her mother once said that she would prefer to take her own life rather than move to a nursing home. In the beginning, Lavondas immediate supervisor, Allen, had been very charming and taught her about the company, its products, the salespeople, and the politics. She knew from experience that she would have to earn the respect of the salespeople she would manage, all of whom were 10 years her senior, and the fact that these men had never had a female boss was just another hurdle to overcome. Allen had helped her fi nd a nice house in a good neighbourhood, had assisted with the moving, and eventually had become more than her superior. The months slipped by, and their relationship had become close, to the point where they began to discuss living arrangements. And then something strange happenedshe heard a story about Allen and Karline.
Karline, who had come to EAP six months prior to Lavonda, worked in Human Resources, and in a few short months she had become head of the HR department at EAP amidst rumours of Allen helping her get the promotion. Six more months passed, and Lavonda learned that the rumours about Karline and Allen were probably true. She heard the same type of scenario that she had experienced for herself: friend, helping with housing, possible intimacy, and so on. The rumours became so intense that Lavonda confronted Allen about them and discovered that they were true. Devastated, Lavonda ended the relationship with Allen in a heated confrontation, but it seemed as though Allen didnt understand that it was over. Weeks went by with little contact between the two of them, and then one afternoon Allen stopped by her office. He apologized for his behaviour, and Lavonda accepted his apology. But the next day he stopped by and began to touch and even grope Lavonda. She made a joke of it to defuse the situation, but several days later Allen repeated the same behaviour, making several sexual remarks. He asked, Honey, why cant it be like it was before? and then whispered some graphic sexual language. Lavondas face reddened and she said, Allen, you are a pig. How dare you say such things to me! Youve crossed the line. Ive never heard such fi lth. Dont you ever say such things to me again, or Ill report you to Human Resources! Several weeks went by, and Lavonda got a phone call from Allen in which he described even more sexually suggestive things. Every few days, Allen would stop by or call and remind her of some private experience they had together, using vulgar sexual language. He would taunt her by saying, Lavonda, you know you want this from me. It became almost a daily ritual. Allen never wrote any of the things that he described to her, being sure not to leave tangible proof of his behaviour, but occasionally he would grab or attempt to grab her sexually. Eventually, Lavonda had had enough and went to the Human Resources department to complain formally about Allen, his sexual advances, and the hostile environment that they had created. The person she met at HR was Karline. As Lavonda described the situation in detail, she finally said, Karline, I need you to help me. What Allen is doing to me is wrong and illegal. I cant get my work done. Hes undermining my position with my sales staff, hes giving me poor evaluations, and hes suggesting that I could change all that if I wanted to! Karlines response was, Lavonda, Ive heard what youve said, but I also have had people come to me with some very disturbing reports about you as well. For example, you and Allen were supposedly sleeping together, and he is your direct supervisor. If this was the case, then it should have been reported immediately; but it wasnt. You have no tangible evidence except for your word. Even if I believed you, the allegation that you had been sexually active with Allen can be construed as making all of what youve said mutual or consensual. If thats the case, then I would have to fi re you because of the superioremployee ethics code, and a letter would go into your permanent fi le that would probably haunt your career for years to come. From my perspective, we can call this an informal and confidential meeting that is not to be repeated, or you can continue this formally and take your chances. Its your call, Lavonda, but you should know that I am disinclined to support your accusations. In shock, Lavonda mumbled a thank you to Karline and left her office. The next day Allen stopped by, smiled, waved his finger at her and said, Your performance review is next week, and it doesnt look good. By the way, just so you know, the pharmaceutical industry is quite small, and I have friends at all the majors. Oh, I forgot to tell you how sorry I am for your mother and her cancer diagnosis. Chemo and the side effects are very draining. Im glad that youre close by to help her through the ordeal. They say it takes months to fully recover. It would be horrible if you werent here to help her and she had to go to a nursing home. Those places scare me. Lavonda said, Allen, why are you doing this to me? Im not fond of you anymore. We have no future together. Doesnt that tell you something? Allen smiled and said, It tells me that youre not interested in a permanent relationship, which is good, because neither am I. And you know that if you want to be promoted or go to another company with a good recommendation, it all starts with me. Lavonda, there might be another solution to your perceived problem. You know that new sales rep you just hired out of school, Soo-Chin? Well, if you could have her assigned to me and maybe coax her in the right way, I know of a position in the company that would be a promotion for you and you wouldnt be around me. But everything depends upon the success of your coaxing
So now here Lavonda was, about to meet with the vice president of ethical affairs. As she got up from the chair, she pondered her alternatives and what had led her there. In school she had learned that each company had its own individual code of ethics, but she didnt know the reality of the code at EAP until it was too late.
1. Keeping in mind the facts and timeline of this situation, discuss Lavondas situation in terms of legal and ethical issues. Is Allen in violation of sexual harassment and/ or sexual discrimination laws in the United States? (600 words)- 7 Marks
2. Discuss Lavondas alternatives and possible professional and private outcomes for her. (Minimum 2 alternatives & 2 outcomes, 500 words)- 4 Marks
3. Certainly Allen has damaged Lavondas performance level; however, discuss whether he has created a legally hostile work environment. (500 words)- 4 Marks
*This case is strictly hypothetical; any resemblance to real persons, companies, or situations is coincidental.