Accounting: Ethical Dilemma at the Workplace. Essay Example.

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George Washington University
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Recently, I was faced with a moral and ethical dilemma which forced me to choose between honesty and loyalty. I hope that the result of that choice will guide me in future decisions. At the time of the incident, I was working as a pharmacy technician. The dilemma I faced involved a fellow technician who was hired at the same time as me. The two of us had become close friends during our employment. My friend was obsessed with bodybuilding to the extent that he was willing to steal intravenous steroids from the pharmacy. As a friend, I tried to warn him of the dangers of steroids and convince him to stop the theft, but he could not listen due to his constant success for getting away with the crime. Later the manager suspected and summoned me for interrogation, and this was the time was the time I was faced with the ethical dilemma. I had to show loyalty to my friend or honesty to my employer. I chose to be honest and told the manager of my friends behavior.

Successful business establishments require both the employers and employees to show integrity in their operations (Duggar, 2011). Since it defines an individual character in related business activities. Integrity is more than ethics since it stems from human nature and hence being honest is not something a person can be trained. I choose to act with integrity by being honest to the manager that my friend was associated with the theft of the steroids, at the pharmacy. I felt I had been loyal enough since I had warned him and also decided to change working shift to ensure I was not associated with the illegal activities at the workplace. My conscious and ethical obligation reminded me that it was time to expose the unethical behavior committed by my friend. I also realized that with his continuous theft, with time he would start stealing other products and manipulate the stocks. The outcome would be closing down of the pharmacy and subsequently lose my job. I had so much at stake to determine whether I should be loyal or honest in that context. My manager had been a good person and being honest was the only way to repay for his integrity. For instance, when I was applying for a change of shift, he approved it without hesitating after hearing my case.

Additionally, I considered the situation as not being disloyal but acting as a whistle blower at the workplace. Being honest allows employees to raise the alarm when misconducts are experienced at the workplace (Collins, 2009). I tried to imagine since in future I plan to establish a pharmaceutical firm what if employees do what I did, this could mean crumbling of my business if I fail to be more vigilant. For this reason, I decided to act with integrity and expose the victim who could be a lesson to other employees doing the same of planning in committing such crimes. My move was also a campaign for fostering integrity at the pharmacy. From the actions, other employees will be engaged in carrying out their duties as guided by the workplace ethics. My conscience was also tormenting me, and by reporting this secret, I attained some degree of freedom and peace. In that situation, I used to feel like a co-conspirator, and this had to end by my cooperation with the manager.



Collins, D. (2009). Determining a job candidate's ethics profile: Integrity, personality, and moral reasoning level tests. Doing well and good: The human face of the new capitalism, 167-185.

Duggar, J. W. (2011). The role of integrity in individual and effective corporate leadership. Journal of Academic and Business Ethics, 3, 1.


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