International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Ethical Dilemma and Its Resolution: Managers’ Perspectives
Benoit Cherré, Ph.D; Igor Volkov, Ph.D

What situations can lead to an ethical dilemma in the workplace and how do managers deal with them? Based on different concepts of moral philosophy, this exploratory study analyses the nature of ethical dilemmas at work and managers’ attitude to cope with them. A qualitative analysis of interviews with managers from different regions of Québec (Canada), lead us to the following observations. Firstly, an ethical dilemma emerges from a classic tension between the organisational requirements and one’s personal values. The most common situation or source of dilemma involves the lay-off process. The ethical stakes associated with this kind of situation often refers to the protection of a manager's reputation and his efficiency at work. The second observation refers to the decision-making process involving ethics. When managers go throughout this process, in most cases they adopt an attitude described by Aristotle as Enkrates. From these observations, we suggest a theoretical model and a series of recommendations.

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