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An Ethical Dilemma Case Study


Sharon is a branch manager of a bank. She has established a good relationship with clients, especially Kit, the owner of a trading company. As Kit's company has recently suffered from financial problems, Kit urges Sharon to do him a favour and promises to assist her son to secure a place in the school summer camp. Sharon is torn among family commitment, friendship, work responsibilities and personal values…

What ethical dilemma does Sharon face?


How can Sharon analyse the dilemma and make a sound decision by applying the  Self Photos / Files - ethic_plus_wording Model?

The dilemma which Sharon faces is whether:


She accepts Kit's offer to secure her son's place in the school summer map, and helps Kit get the bank loan even though he is not eligible; or


She rejects Kit's offer, which will sacrifice her son's opportunity to join the school summer camp and jeopardise their friendship.

Using  Self Photos / Files - ethic_plus_wording Model to analyse

Establish the relevant facts
Sharon wants her son to join the school summer camp and Kit is the influential chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association of the school.
Kit is a close friend of Sharon and a client of Sharon's bank.
Kit offers to secure Sharon's son a place in the school summer camp if Sharon approves the bank loan to help him get through his financial difficulties.
Take stock of the stakeholders involved
Involved Parties
Kit(Sharon’s friend)
Sharon's son
Sharon's son
Sharon's Bank
Sharon's Bank
Have an objective assessment of each stakeholder’s position
  • As a bank manager, Sharon should perform her duty according to the bank's policies and guidelines when processing loan applications.
  • Sharon is personally obliged to help her friend (Kit) and her son.
  • Kit suffers from financial difficulties and urgently needs a bank loan, but he is not eligible.
Sharon's son
Sharon's son
  • Sharon's son wants to join the school summer camp where competition is fierce.
Sharon's Bank
Sharon's Bank
  • It is against the bank's interest to approve a high risk loan which may turn into a bad debt.
Identify viable alternatives
Please make ONE choice at a time for Sharon
Compare and evaluate each alternative with the PLUS Standards
Sharon's Choice
Professional / trade-related /company code of conduct
Legal requirements
Uncompromising self-values
Sunshine Test
Select the best course of action
Sharon Could...
Decline Kit's offer;
Explain to her son about positive values of fairness and integrity;
Advise and assist Kit in applying loan via other proper means and channels;
Discuss with the bank management for further advice;
or more…
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