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Ethical Dilemma Question - Schulich Business School [#permalink]
30 Jan 2014, 01:33
Describe a time when you were faced with an ethical dilemma. What strategies did you use to resolve the issue? What would you have done differently if faced with a similar situation? (Please limit your answer to 350 words.)
This question really gave me a bad time, please help me with it.
What I plan to write is as follows:
The Business Development Manager of our company was going against company policy and keeping the money meant for client with himself. Solution 1. To confront him directly but this would bring friction which will not be good for office environment and chances were low that he would stop doing that. Solution 2. To report this to the senior management directly and get him fired or whatever action seniors take but again anybody in place could still do the same. What I did? I talked to seniors and suggested them to fix the root cause of the problem so that nobody can do similar practice.
Does this situation answer the question? Please elaborate a bit
For elaboration, here’s what I suggest, considering the 350-word limit: tell the story straightforwardly of discovering this problem, including a little of what you thought, and the various actions you considered. Then describe the action you took, and why you chose that action. State the outcome: what happened as a result, etc. If there’s room, reflect back in one sentence on some pertinent learning from this experience.
I'm always unsure what to write about on admissions essays with topics such as this. I'm the type to follow management's direction regardless, unless it's illegal.
Would I be able to get by with something more typical? I do have a very unique ethical "tragedy" that I experienced early in my career but I don't know if admissions would appreciate the truth or scare them.
The gist of it was, I'd discovered a former supervisor had sexually assaulted a coworker who I was good friends with. Since there wasn't much hard evidence to recover in these types of cases, HR and legal took the stance of calling this coworker outside of the office and implicitly threatened termination if she reported it ("Are you unhappy working at ___? You don't talk to me anybody but come through me...")
Such secrets can only remain hidden for so long and eventually whispered conversations started traversing the office. People I worked with who found out and also knew this person well confronted HR indignantly, but I was getting scared because they all were being terminated for obscure "performance" reasons that had never been a problem for the past few years. They got everyone except me; I was careful not to show I knew and I'd been approached more than once by senior management if I had any knowledge of the issue. What could I say if the victim confided in me and didn't want people to know?
Eventually, with a lot of support, she recovered from a long period of depression and sought legal remedy against the ex-supervisor. I donated half my savings as she couldn't afford to pay for all the costs and made myself available as a witness for the plaintiff. As time went on though, I couldn't see any progress being made and I myself began to fall into depression. I wondered why people who do bad things never seem to be punished and it's always the nice people who suffer quietly - their magnanimity prevents them from "causing trouble" for others and they keep to themselves trying to preserve normalcy outwardly. Then I became caught up in an emergency issue and had to stay on with a client for two weeks straight day and night, catching only a few hours of sleep in between updates. The sleep deprivation had an adverse effect of debilitating caution and awareness. On a night falling into the depths of depression, I confided to my manager about everything and pleaded for help. I'm fairly certain I would never have been identified otherwise- corporate IT often asked me for help- I probably knew as much about the network capabilities as anyone else besides the SVP of security. It resulted in me being terminated the next day.
I've been criticized by family for "ruining my career" because of it and though sometimes I feel sad about the episode, it's not because I lost my job and stalled my career for a year or two. I was sad that someone suffered through something like that. I think at the time when I made those reports despite the pressuring fear, it came down to one question: "When I look back on my life, will I regret risking my job to help someone in need during their weakest hour, or will I regret lost career opportunity?"
At the end of my life, I believe money will no longer be of value to me. There might have been better solutions available, but for the me who'd come fresh out of college, with no powerful connections, no real confrontations with the outside world after growing up in an ordinary, peaceful household, I just ran with what I could do then. I lost many things as a result. But I'm glad today I didn't give up my morality, the importance of being human.
So you see, I really have nothing truly important that I can think to write about in terms of the ethical dilemma topic because this always stands out prominent in my memory. It is probably the only instance I can write about free of forced effort. If this weren't reviewed by a panel whose decision makes an important influence on my career future, I can think of nothing else that more closely addresses an ethical dilemma that I've experienced thus far in my life.
Re: Ethical Dilemma Question
16 Feb 2015, 21:25