Case Study- Ethical Dilemma - Assessment Answer

December 22, 2017
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1ABEE

Question: Case Study

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Case Study Assignment

Assignment Task

1 . Identify and describe an example of an ethical dilemma you have experienced or observed in a workplace.

2. List the mainethicalquestionsraised by this dilemma. (Include at least three ethical questions.)

3. Use scholarly references to critically analyze the three most important lessons you have learnt from this dilemma about ethics in the workplace.

4. Make recommendations to prevent this type of ethical dilemma happening in the future.One of your recommendations must link to an existing Code of Ethical Practice and/or Conduct that could have assisted in addressing the ethical dilemma. Explain how and why this code would have been useful.

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Ethical dilemma can be defined as situation in which someone is required to choose between two options. Professionally ethics and moral cannot be separated sine they both deal with the question of whether something is right or wrong(Lin, 2015). A situation can only be regarded as an ethical dilemma if it meets the three basic conditions. An agent is the first condition to be considered to be unethical dilemma condition. This refers to the individual who must make the decision on the action to be taken in the given condition. Secondly, there must be different action courses to be chosen from. Finally, in an ethical dilemma some of the ethical standards must be compromised regardless of the course of action to be chosen. Values describe then ideas that we can prize hence can be defined as ideas that we desire to achieve such as social justice(Withey, 2014). Finally, law and policy agents involve complex case that individuals are obliged to legally to take a particular course of action(Shapiro, 2011). Below is description of an ethical dilemma that I encountered in my line of duty. The write will focus on the four key questions that arose from the dilemma and the the intervention that was taken.

Dilemma description and ethical questions raised

I experienced the dilemma when I a sole practitioners accountant. I offer accounting services to certain small firm (Company A). The firm owns a big hardware shop in the town where I practice. The firm had opted to try an alternative accounting firms due to the brief retendering process that they did. The other firm and I asked to tender for different services some of which included preparation of year-end accounts, tax compliance work and due diligence exercise according to the planned purchase of small hardware business in the neighboring town. However, I had a feeling that I was not successful in the tendering process based on the cost of alone.

Apart from this firm, I have also continued to provide my services to another local sole practitioner (company B). The practitioner suffered a heart attack about one month ago. Company B has a client who runs a business that is specialized in electrical goods. The director and the majority of the company’s shareholders have told me to organize several meetings to discuss some of the business ventures that they think they should try. In the meeting, it emerges that company B is planning to make an offer for the small hardware which company A is also planning to purchase. The directors know that there is someone else interested in the purchasing of the business. They do not know that company A was my former client. I really wanted to help company B achieve their dreams by providing them with best services on behalf of the practitioner who is my all-time provider. In addition, on the other hand I noticed that I possess confidential information about company A on their intended plans(Fallon, 2011). I am also well informed on the former company’s issues and it is motivated to purchase the business.

Arising questions

The first question that arose from the dilemma was based in integrity. According to the ethical standards am required to be always straightforward and honest. The second question was on confidentiality. This was on how I was going to ensure that I do not use confidential information the relates to company A to the advantage of company B? Thirdly, the professional behaviors were also at stake. How I would safeguard my reputation and that of my profession? Lastly, the question on how to maintain the high value of my professional standards arose.

Ethical lessons learnt

Currently my first identity was the incapacitated practitioner together with his client whom I was their continuity provider(Fallon, 2011). I would fist assume that the targeted business was more suited for company A since they already own similar business. This was very confidential information which when given to company B would give them competitive advantage over company B. It very important to ensure that I do not breach the fundamental principle of confidentiality. Apart from my professional body of conduct it is also good to considered other applicable laws and regulations. The first thing I did was accepting that there was conflict of of interest between the two companies and my reasons for not acting on behalf of later company with regard to the proposed business(Fu, 2015). I would only agree to work for them on condition that I do not disclose the name of the competing company. When forced to disclose then I would choose to completely disengage from the client to ensure the confidentiality aspect is safe guarded(Shapiro, 2011). I was also wise that I inform the incapacitated practitioner whom I still provide with continuity of service.


It is also good to document all the events on how I solved the dilemma for future reference. This would come in handy in case any ethical standards are questioned at some point in future(Khatri, 2013). It should also be noted that any discussion of the dilemma with client is in itself a breach of confidentiality. However, the best way to handle any dilemma is to first identify the dilemma and its possible impacts on an individual. This would then be followed by the used of various techniques critical to ensuring that dilemma does not reccur again because of the negative outcomes it could cause


A proper definition of what ethical dilemma is the prepositional statements that are used a given professional body or organization. The ethics depend on the logical and rational criteria to reach a given decision. In most ethical dilemmas, an individual is usually correct in both instances but the person is still under conflict. It is clear that ethical dilemmas deal with what is regarded as right or wrong. This means that ethics and morals are closely connected. However, what constitutes right or wrong is specific t each person. It is based on the individual sense of wrong or right.

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