Case Study Essay Example

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Ethical Theories

Virtue Ethics

According to Ridley (1998, pp. 10), virtue ethical theory is based on a person’s character as compared to one action that may digress from the ordinary behavior. One unethical behavior will be rated according a person’s reputation, morals and motivation. Tobias O’Toole Avoca who is the Corporate Communication Manager of Avoca Bank Limited has been honest and transparent about the bank’s operations for five years until a new CEO changed operations. O’Toole has failed to notify the Board of Directors that the bank has a lot of debts and the new CEO (Dermot Hanley) is selling the bank’s shares at $50 per share. The total number of shares sold by Hanley before Avoca’s Annual General Meeting was 500,000. O’Toole character has been of honesty and it is his duty to report the CEO’s operations to the board to avoid embezzlement of funds. His honesty can save a lot of money and employees’ positions because in case the CEO has a hidden agenda, it will not cost the bank and the different branches a lot of resources.


This theory states that a person should adhere to his or her obligations in an organization when analyzing a dilemma that is unethical (Ridley 1998, pp. 17). This means that the person performs his or her duties to the society and the organization regardless of the situation. O’Toole has the duty of correcting the decision made by the CEO to do insider trading and leave the Board of Directors of the loop. As the Corporate Communication Manager, he has the obligation to notify the Board of Directors about the bank’s debt situation and the CEO’s operations. This will be in accordance to the Australian law hence preventing court cases and prison time.


This theory predicts the consequences of any action taken. A choice that has the greatest benefits and outcomes to many people in the organization is always the ethical choice. The choice made by the new CEO to exclude the Board of Directors in the insider trading deal is dangerous to many people in the bank. This is mainly because the money cannot be accounted for and many people will end up losing their jobs and shareholders incurring a lot of losses. The consequences that will arise from insider trading will be lack of confidence from shareholders and employees will feel threatened by the way problems are being handled in the bank. Employees are a crucial part of the organization and cutting development programs has adverse consequences that will lead to incompetency and lack of confidence among employees.

Rights Ethics

According to Penslar (1995, pp. 20), rights theory is set forth by a group of people with a common goal or the society in the intention of giving everyone the freedom to choose the right thing. O’Toole has the right to protect the interests of employees, the shareholders and the society by including the Board of Directors in the new operations carried out by the CEO. Even though his career could end because of lack of renewed work contract, he has the right as the Corporate Communication Manager to do the right thing as per Australia’s organizational laws and the banks policies.

Casuist Ethics

This is the comparison of an ethical dilemma in an organization with an example of a pervious case and their outcomes (Ridley 1998, pp. 30). O’Toole should consider how the organization will survive this ethical dilemma by carrying out a thorough research about the bank. There are cases of unethical behavior which were handled in the past and this case should be managed to prevent larger risks that could lead to branch closures. The employees need to be monitored during this dilemma because many people lose focus when their careers are handled by unethical leaders (Penslar 1995, pp. 39). Corporate Communication Manager has the ability to analyze the severity of the bank’s situation and find ways of solving the problem according to the experience he has earned in the five years.

Personal objectives and goals will lure O’Toole to take up the CEO’s offer of increased salary and extra shares. This is because many people who have worked in a company for many years are always looking for a way to move to the next level in their careers. This is however not a good idea for O’Toole because the operations carried out by the CEO are illegal and he will lose his charismatic qualities of leader. His personal goals should not be achieved at the expense of many people who have spent many years trying to develop their talents and skills in the banking industry. The five years contract that he has been promised will not last if the company folds due to mismanagement. This puts his personal goals aside so as to help employees improve their work quality and living standards.

O’Toole’s profession is based on trust and loyalty. His profession for five years has improved in terms of personal goals and the organizations objectives because he has been open with his operations giving employees and shareholders an informed choice. This is whereby all essential parties know what is at stake and how they will proceed to ensure successful outcomes. The risks are also listed so that all the parties know how to handle the situation in the bank. Communication to the shareholders and employees is very important in O’Toole’s profession. This includes listening and analyzing employees’ feedback about organizational changes to be made to reduce the debt and create innovative and competent employees in all the bank’s branches. Ethics and principles facilitate decision making especially when some branches will experience closure and the bank will have to pay the $ 500 million debt. Using the ethical theories explained above, O’Toole will be able to find the most practical, favorable and appropriate solution to deal with the CEO’s unethical behavior and also solve the bank debt issue. (964)


Penslar, R, L,. 1995. ‘Research Ethics: Cases and Materials’. Indiana University Press. Bloomington. Pg 5- 50

Ridley, A. 1998. ‘Beginning Bioethics’. St. Martin’s Press: New York. Pg 10-30

Role of Perception in Interpersonal Workplace Communication

According to Dr. Gomez (2011, pp. 48), perception is the use of the five common senses to respond to both internal and external stimuli. Perception leads to good or bad interpersonal communication in the work place. People perceive interpersonal encounters in the workplace and this involves hearing, interpreting and responding to another person. Perception is a challenging and active process involving the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste.It makes people gain essential information about interpersonal workplace communication skills of ourselves and others.

People in the workplace use their visual, tactile, auditory and olfactory senses in response to stimuli. Each employee becomes attentive but also selective (Dr. Gomez 2011, pp. 48). This means that they are mindful of each other’s surrounding by being observant and aware. A supervisor in the workplace will see that the employees are distracted. It is the responsibility of this supervisor or manager to be mindful of the employees’ well-being by engaging in a constructive conversation and finding the solution. Some employees help each other when they see others are behind schedule. This is by communicating and working as a team to achieve a common goal in the workplace.

Selective perception in the workplace hinders overall development because people decide to do specific things that will fulfill their own needs, meet their expectations and capture their own interests while ignoring others (Dr. Gomez 2011, pp. 48). Many people in workplaces are working to achieve personal goals and that is the reason why many people attend seminars or talk only to certain people in the workplace because selective perception is important for their goals. The overall goal of an organization is not based on selective perception. Leaders need to see and give their honest opinion to all employees and not only those who have leadership qualities or perform better than the others.

Perception process requires employees in the work place to organize confusing pieces of essential information into accessible, orderly fashion and understandable (Dr. Gomez 2011, pp. 48). This means that when employees are having a company’s presentation to investors, they should have their documents safe in one place to avoid being vague during the presentation. This will only happen when all parties participate in healthy interpersonal communications within the organization. This perception organization also helps employees in the workplace to control their behavior in future in accordance to the company’s rules and regulations. Perception also shows people who to recognize and understand people from different backgrounds. Some employees need to be handled with care and given space to perform while others need to be supervised in order to complete organizational tasks on time. Personal characteristics, leadership style and work ethic are among the few ways people use perception for interpersonal communication in the workplace.

After attention and selective perception in the workplace, people need to interpret the perceptions. This is assigning meaning to what people perceive. Interpretation is required in every interpersonal communication. It means that people should not be biased or even misinterpret what they perceive in the workplace. There are employees who always talk about quitting during hard times but never quit should not be fired because but motivated to improve their self esteem and competence.


Gomez, R 2011. Communication, Perception and Self. Journal, pg 30-50.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is defined as the capacity, ability, potential or skill to use, feel, communicate, remember, recognize, describe, learn from, identify, manage and explain personal or other people’s emotions (Gardner 2005). Employees need competency and confidence to perform well but there is one major factor that hinders many organizations from fully achieving their objectives: stress related to work (Kazmi et al. 2008, pp. 136).

The strategies used by employees to handle stress are very crucial to an organization’s well-being. Emotions also control the performance of an employee and this can be a good or a destructive thing. Managers are leaders in an organization who need to be good role models to their employees for successful outcomes in the organizations. This means that they have to acquire a high EI so as to lead and succeed (Slaski & Cartwright 2002, pp. 67).

A successful team leader with a high EI in the constant changing world and a highly competitive workplace will be like a coach of a team that is always winning. Leaders may lack the game book or the whistle but it is their responsibility to inspire their employees so that the work unit can give their all in achieving a certain goal. A manager who has high EI know that the winning teams are created by professional and skilled leaders who know how to inspire, motivate, and also guide their employees to phenomenal success.

This manager will always give concise, clear and also precise directions. The appropriate feedback mechanism will always prevent team failure. The manager is a good listener; when employees have an issue that needs to be addressed, he or she takes time to listen to the employees’ problems and find ways of solving them.

A manager who has high EI will devise ways of preventing employee burnout by replacing it with enthusiasm and also motivation. Employees sometimes need to be rewarded for the good work or high performance and the manager who gives the work unit the cheapest and best rewards will encourage high quality of work and motivation.

The manager will become a good leader who takes a lot of time and energy to learn and acquire the great leadership skills. He or she will be honest, display integrity, sincerity and also candor to their actions. The manager with high EI not only base his or her actions on moral principles and reason but also on decisions based on personal feelings and emotional desires.

Emotional intelligence helps a manager to set goals that enhance a great future. This is often envisioning the things that are essential for the organization and also for the work unit and how to get the goals. The manager will habitually pick the priorities that stem from all his or her basic values. Emotional intelligence allows the manager to be inspiring and display the confidence required in everything that is work related. A manager with high EI is a leader who shows endurance in physical, mental, and also spiritual stamina will effectively inspire the employees to reach higher levels.


Gardner, L. (2005). Emotional intelligence and occupational stress. Doctoral dissertation, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Kazmi R., Amjad S. & Khan D. (2008). ‘Occupational stress and its effect on job performance’: A case study of medical house officers of district Abbottabad. Journal of Ayub Medical College. 20, 135-139.

Slaski, M. and Cartwright, S. (2002). Health, performance and emotional intelligence: An exploratory study of retail managers. Stress
and Health, 18, 63-68.

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