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Saving severance pay

Trades / Industries:

Flora was a production supervisor of a Hong Kong handbag manufacturer at its Mainland production plant.  Expansion programmes were being drawn up and much of the firm’s production in the Mainland would move to Vietnam where rent and wages were relatively lower.  But reducing the factory size in the Mainland involved a large amount of severance pay.  Flora’s boss told Flora to make it easier by cutting off the central air-conditioning so that the workers would find it intolerable to continue working in the heat, thereby resigning on their own.  Flora found it difficult to carry out the orders without qualms.  But her boss emphasized that the most important thing was to meet targeted rates of return.


Should Flora follow the instruction?  Should she at least let the workers know the company’s plan?  Would it be detrimental to her own career development by so doing?

Case Analysis

Flora was facing an ethical dilemma that might compromise her personal values such as honesty, responsibility, respect and compassion. In handling the situation, Flora should identify the relevant facts and take stock of all stakeholders concerned. The following factors should be taken into consideration when identifying viable alternatives and choosing the best course of action:


  1. Any violation to her professional, industry specific, or company code of conduct?
  2. Is it against the Law?
  3. Does it correspond with her self-values such as honesty, responsibility, respect and compassion?
  4. Can she disclose her decision to others openly and honestly without misgivings?


The ETHICS PLUS ethical decision making model might be helpful for her in solving the ethical dilemma and choosing the best course of action.

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