Problem based learning case study Essay Example

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Problem Based Case Study


Overview of the Case

The case study that is assigned to me is about the Sue Davenport, who is a Human resource director. The case explains that the dilemma in which she stuck because she does not want to lose her job because of her integrity. The whole scenario explains the shocking dilemma in which Sue Davenport a human resource director and the Robert Drew the senior internal auditor were unable to take any disciplinary action against the senior vice-president of the company Dan Murphy. Dan Murphy has caught by the senior internal auditor because of his fraudulent activities and abusing the company’s money. At the same time, when Sue and Robert both the directors talk to the CEO about Dan Murphy’s misuse of company’s money the CEO in return didn’t believe them but at the very next day when he thought about the habits of the Dan Murphy as he knew well because Dan was his best friend, he decided to take the case in front of Auditor committee but all the efforts of both of the direct and the CEO wasted because Dan Murphy is a senior and hardworking member of the organization and company could not bear the loss by firing a senior vice president. The committee and senior management considered Dan Murphy an asset of the Company. Both Sue Davenport and Robert got appreciation from the company because of their numerous efforts to save the every penny of the company from misuse, but at the same time Dan Murphy had not been dismissed or fired. Such a dilemma was very bewildering for the Susan because according to her the disciplinary actions should be taken for all in equally, but by stretching Dan Murphy’ issue can also become a reason of her dismal so by considering her personal needs she did not want to stretch it more.

Important issues discussed in the Case

Consequently, from the whole Dilemma in which Sue had trapped there are many issues come under consideration. The issues are abusing company’s money, violation of an ethical code of conduct, questions about the integrity of top management, the power of taking action of the Human Resource director, misusing the power, dominance of the personal life over the organizational decision, inequality in disciplinary action, ignore the mistakes of the senior members and many others. The case reflects many issues, but all the issues come under the one category which is ethical issues. Similarly, it also explains the role of the senior manager is very important for the company because senior managers are the leaders of the organization if the leader will not capable enough, it can affect the credibility of the organization in many ways. Therefore, maintaining trust and showing honesty with the policies and code of conduct of the company is the duty of every member in the organization. If one person does not abide the ethical code and conduct of the company can also affect the behavior of the other members of the organization[ CITATION Box03 l 1033 ]. In the next section, the detailed discussion on the issues that is mentioned in the case has been done and moreover, the response which includes the responses or suggestion that can help the Sue and Robert to solve this dilemma.

Explanation of the issues

Sue was the Human resource director and the responsibilities of the human resource director is complex and vast. Human resource managers handled employees, personal decision, hiring, recruiting, training and provide benefits to the employees of the companies. The significant responsibilities of the human resource mangementis to take care of the resources of the company, it can be human resources and the other resources. Human resource director has a duty to make sure that all the personnels or the employees of the company are sincere with the organization. Similarly, none of them harm the company in one way or another. The most important function of the human resource director is to make all the employees productive and ensure that all the employees abide the rules and regulations of the organization. Moreover, it is also the responsibility of the human resource director to take disciplinary action against the unethical and fraudulent activities in the organization[CITATION Placeholder4 l 1033 ]. Therefore, as a human resource director Sue has a duty to take action against the Dan Murphy because an honest human resource manager would always consider to take strict decision whether it is his or her senior manager against his unethical and dishonorable activities.

Accordingly, Sue has done the same thing, but due to many reasons she could succeed in taking any action against her senior manager Dan. The most important issue that has been discussed in the case is the adherence to the ethical codes and conducts of the company[ CITATION Gre02 l 1033 ]. As, Dan Murphy was the senior manager even a vice president of the company, no one was expecting such an unethical behavior from him. Only ethics can create a positive environment in the company. The corporation’s reputation, respect, honesty of the employees and adherence to the company’s policies and rules are the pillars of the ethical policy of the organization. There are a broad range of issues involve in the ethical policies of the organization. Some of the issues are abuses of the company’s resources like money and power, misbehavior with the junior employees and equality in the organization[ CITATION JSt93 l 1033 ]. In this case, many issues have been discussed like first of all Ran Murphy, who was a senior manager was abusing his power and money as well. He submitted fake slips of the expenses to the company to take money for his irregular expenses. Moreover, he also wasted the money of the company, which is unethical. As, a senior manager such a behavior, not suited him, it gives the wrong message to the other members or employees of the company. Furthermore, Murphy knew that no one in the company ever tries to take any disciplinary action against him such an attitude could be very harmful for the other employees moreover for also the company’s reputation[ CITATION Win96 l 1033 ].


Only code of ethics is the central and the important guide to all these issues that have been mentioned in the case. The code of ethics and its adherence in a real sense can solve variety of the problems of the Sue. In the case, it has been clearly mentioned that the senior managers like the Dun Murphy are not following the ethics and code of conduct and senior manager is taking ethical issues very carelessly because he knew no one could have ever asked him about the misuse of a company’s money. As, only effective code of conduct has an ability to cover the gray areas of the organizations and clear the unclear situations. Moreover, it also builds trust and commitments. The effective code of conduct is involved in a multiple functions. Some of its functions are raising the ethical expectations of the employees like if the ethical codes are fully enforced then all the employees consider themselves secure in the organization. It is defined in the ethical codes that it is a duty of the human resource managers and other senior member that while training, they inculcate necessary ethics in them. Moreover, human resource manager can deliver lectures, presentations, they can have informal dialogues with the members to teach them about the importance of the ethical codes. The training of the employees about the ethical codes and its adherence should not only for the juniors or newly hire personnel’s but it can also for the senior members of the company as well. It is also the need in the Sue case before giving the warning or taking any disciplinary action, Sue and its team can have dialogues with the Dan Murphy and try to make deliver the importance of ethical issues for the organization.

Moreover, Sue can solve this issue by making “ethical working self-concept” an important part of the company. Ethical working self- concept is an important way to solve the unethical issues like it explains the degree to which an employee of the company make the ethical codes and conduct as a part of their self-concept[ CITATION Mor13 l 1033 ]. The promotion of the “ethical self-concept” can only be done by the human resource specialist or manager because human resource manager knows the nature of each employee and has a capacity to change it. If “ethical self-concept becomes a part of the company all the employees will start evaluating his/herself from its ethics and integrity with the company. Furthermore, compliance is another important part of the ethical issues of the company and all the members or employees of the company should accept it[ CITATION Kap10 l 1033 ]. In the case, it is clear that the rules, ethics, regulations and disciplines are only for the junior members of the company, but in real sense it is totally a wrong approach to deal the different member of the different position in the company. Compliance with the ethical issues is for everyone, not only for the junior. Sue should understand this and try to take a strict action against the Dan Murphy.

In addition, the case also highlights the issue of the integrity of the senior manager who most of the time is considered as the leader of the company. Senior managers are the assets, it is true and CEO and the committee members were right and its dismal can create lots of questions on the credibility of the organization. On the other hand, they ignored one an important aspect of the situation that is leadership. If a leadership of the company is not on the right path and involve in any irregularities and unethical issues then it is confirmed that many other subordinates or the junior members can also follow the footstep of their senior management. The ethical sphere is not bound to or confined to the junior or newly recruited members, but all the employee whether, they senior or junior are liable to follow the ethical codes and avoid irregularities. This case sets the example of “ethical crisis” among the leadership. Most of the leaders of the world consider disciplinary actions and accountability are only for the follower or the junior members but in the real sense the sphere of accountability is very vast in which all the members are included. At this place, the need of ethical leader is arisen. Ethical leader is not one who is best of the character, but one who always abide the ethical codes and believe in equality in the matter of accountability[ CITATION REd06 l 1033 ]. In the Sue Company’s there is a need to promote the ethical leader concept to avoid such an incidence again in the future otherwise it can affect the company’s productivity and credibility in many ways.

The organizational justice is an important way of ensuring accountability in the organizations[ CITATION AMO10 l 1033 ]. In the case it is missing, even the other senior member didn’t believe on the evidences against the Dan Murphy because they are not fair. The senior management is not ready to take the disciplinary action against the senior vice president. Nevertheless, the fair and the most appropriate accountability policy is to take disciplinary action against all those who is dishonest. Organization in the case is failing to provide organizational justice because they are giving relaxation to Dan Murphy. Thus, it is important for the Sue and the other members of the organization to take strict disciplinary action against the Dan and first giving warning and then if their abusing will not decrease then he must be fired. The Sue should make a report in which she must list out all the repercussion that a company would face due Dan irregularities and unethical practice and try to make other members understand that accountability is for everyone not for the juniors only. The disciplinary actions can prove the best way to mold the behavior of the senior managers as well because the precondition of effective accountability is to treat everyone equal[ CITATION Jon11 l 1033 ]. Thus, Sue should make all the efforts and compel her senior management to take disciplinary action against him because such a gesture of the company reflects its equality in its accountable policy.

Concluding Remarks

To sum up, it can be concluded that, Sue is a senior human resource director and Robert is also a senior audit officer, they both can do nothing without the support of the senior manager and it is true disciplinary actions must be taken against the Dan Murphy. It is the duty of all the manager like Sue should compel her senior management to take disciplinary action. On the other hand, the CEO of the company should ignore his personal relations with the Murphy and try to think as the boss and head of the organization. The behavior of the Dan Murphy shows that the company has very lenient policy of accountability so there is a need to make strict and try to incorporate equality in it as well. This case is the real example of inequality in disciplinary and accountability standards. Moreover, it also shows how a personal relationship dominant the working relations in the organization. Lastly, Sue should not think about its personal life because if we consider ethical codes of the company in real sense, the dominance of the personal life over the decision of the organization is also not a fair thing. Therefore, it is a duty of the human resource manager to give productive employees to the company and save every penny of the organization. Thus, Sue should take strict decisions against Dan without thinking of losing her job.


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