The ethical dilemmas to be analyzed can best be resolved by striking a balance between what is the right thing to do and what is good. In these two cases, the right solutions will depend on the ability to merge a number of factors that affect the overall outcomes.

Case studies

In the first case of the copywriter who finds out that disclaimer information has been removed from the advertisement, the action I would take would be to continue with the advertisement but have proof of the fact that the missing disclaimer information was removed by the marketing director.

On the other hand, what I should do is to refuse to instate those changes and to take the matter to the chemical company through the marketing manager’s boss. These actions are quite different from one another because the first alternative takes into consideration the consequences of the action rather than the means needed to achieve them (Shockley-Zalabak & Pamela, 2009). In this regard, choosing to counteract the actions of the marketing director could cause a loss of the account.

It is likely that my firm may be more interesting in retaining business rather than meeting some ethical obligations. Therefore, in order to avoid losing my job, I would let the copy proceed and then find a way of protecting myself if the issue created negative consequences to the public. This would cause the least harm to the said parties.

On the other hand, the other alternative of refusing to pass the copies and confronting the marketing director’s boss should be the right thing to do. In this ethical dilemma the copywriter is confronted with the challenge of choosing between doing the right thing and doing the good one. Most teleologists and human beings tend to focus on the results i.e. on the good rather than the right.

However, the highest standard of morality will usually result when a person has decided to engage in a rightful act that produces good consequences. When this is not possible, then one must forgo the good consequences in order to do the right thing. If the disclaimer information causes the public substantial problems in their health then the consequences would be dire. Even if the public health issue may not crop up in this case, it would in the future and hence lead to diminished business by the chemical company as well as poor health; the consequences of doing nothing about the issues are clearly more than they are for doing something about them. Conversely, going silent on the issue is likely to lead to loss of business and maybe even the job of the copywriter. The immediacy and surety of these consequences is what truly necessitated the first option.

However, morally right actions sometimes need to sacrifice short term interests of long term ones hence the second option (Shockley-Zalabak & Pamela, 2009). If I was the consultant who was a specialist in the training programs I would not comply with the president’s requirements. I would inform him of my concerns about the secrecy of his request and the unethical nature of this demand. This course of action is also what one should do. The risks and damages that lie in accepting that conditionality are too high compared to the benefits of not doing so. The president has stated that the matter should be confidential and that if personnel knew then they would object. This admission by the president is a sign that the President is not immune from accountability and that his actions should also be agreeable to other parties. The consultant will therefore have the support of other parties and his chances of keeping the job are quite high even after choosing to oppose the President’s directives.

Furthermore, the training business would suffer less if the consultant concentrated on actual training rather than giving reports on the most talented people in the programs to the president. The realistic nature of these consequences therefore makes rejection of the President’s request a plausible option. On the other hand, the ethical reasons involved in this scenario also favor the same course of action. First, if other companies come to realize that the consultant business participates in shortcuts during recruitment then this would tarnish the image of the business.

The consultant has a duty to his company which means that he must engage in actions that would heighten the well being of his organization rather than tarnish its image. He needs to look at the greater good and let go of momentary satisfaction which would be to maintain business with the building products manufacturer. The long term benefits of this business easily outweigh the complications the short term business that is being brought by this building products manufacturer.

As stated earlier, the best moral actions are those ones that follow the right means and lead to the best consequences (Shockley-Zalabak & Pamela, 2009.). In this case, the manner in which the contract clause is to be executed signifies some of the problems that can emanate from it. The president wanted the clause to be secret and the reports to be submitted secretly. It shows that he was aware of the wrongs of these actions hence his reason for avoiding personnel in his company. He was trying to use a shortcut to recruitment instead of performing his role in the right manner as is the case with other people in his industry or in his situation.

Even the manner in which he introduced the issue is testimony to how wrong that contract was. He only talked about the secret report and did not write it in the contract. He also mentioned it after talking about the mutually beneficial relationship so the latter seemed like a bribe.


Sometimes the end does not justify the means when these would clash with another then the duty of the agent is to do what is right rather than to focus on the consequences as was the case of the consultant and the copywriter.


Shockley-Zalabak, Pamela S.

(2009.). Fundamentals of organizational communication knowledge, sensitivity, skills, values (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education. ISBN: 0536694621


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