Bob is a supervisor in the bookkeeping department of a large company. The company has instructed Bob to lay off one bookkeeper because business is bad. The company tells Bob he can lay off Charlie or Dan. Bob must decide which one to lay off. Charlie is the better worker. Dan is a friend of Bob’s. Discuss this dilemma using each of the 4 ethical theories we have studied in class.
This situation is not an easy one to be in. On one side you have the better worker Charlie and on the other you have Dan who is Bob’s friend. The Ethical Fundamentalism theory would be that Bob was instructed by an outside source to fire either his good worker or one of his friends from work. The Ethical Relatism theory would b to fire the better worker Charlie because of the friendship that you and Dan share internally.
The Situational Ethical way to solve this would be to fire your good friend Dan. The reason behind this is that Charlie is the better worker and if his friend Dan is not going to do his work then he deservers to be fired. If Bob were to keep Dan and he doesn’t do his work then it is a bad reflection on Bob. At the end of the day, it is all about who does their work. The Utilitarian Ethical way to solve this would to suffer the lose of losing your friend at work and Bob only benefits from the situation by keeping the better worker. Down the road Bob has to think about his future and limit his mistakes so he doesn’t draw attention to himself if he does a bad job.