The Importance of Commitments: A Case Study of a

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Transcript The Importance of Commitments: A Case Study of a

The Importance of
Commitments: A Case Study of a
Broken Promise
Summarize the reasons that
might justify Jesse’s actions.
Summary of Reasons
• He needed to secure a position for economic reasons
(student loans)
People change their minds all the time
Potter can fill the position easily
The offer was made 16 months in advance of start date
Jesse gave four months notice
Jesse worked for too many supervisors
Jesse was pressured to accept the offer from Daschow
Potter merged with another firm after Jesse’s internship
Summarize the reasons that
suggest Jesse’s actions were
Summary of Reasons
• A promise represents a commitment. People should
honor their commitments
Jesse was “gaming the system” by accepting this job as
a “safety net” until something better came along
Jesse only cares about himself. His resignation letter was
perfunctory and selfish
Jesse’s actions tarnish his reputation
Jesse’s actions jeopardize other students’ chances of
getting an internship with Potter
If Jesse breaks his commitment it could tarnish the
University, other students, and alumni
What could Jesse have done
• Do not accept the offer in the first place.
• Discuss concerns with Dr. Goodkin prior to
accepting offer from Potter
Meet face-to-face with Daschow to explain
problem and actions
Meet with Dr. Goodkin after receiving Bancroft
Request an extension of time before accepting
offer from Potter
Generally speaking, how does the
context of the recruiting situation
create pressures on students and
How could the overall system be
Situational Context
• Students
– Feel pressure to land a job after graduation
– A “bird in the hand is worth two in a bush”
– Authority figure wines and dines you making it tough
to say no
• Recruiters
– Competition for top-tier students is intense
– Firm personnel feel pressure to land interns for fulltime employment
– If we wait too long to fill up our hiring needs we may
eventually be understaffed.
An ethical decision is one
Ethical Frameworks
• Utilitarian approach: Ethical actions provide the most
good for stakeholders and do the least harm to
Rights approach: Ethical actions protect the moral rights
of those involved.
Fairness approach: Ethical actions treat all human beings
equally, or if action is unequal it is based on a defensible
Common good approach: Ethical actions exhibit
compassion for all others, especially the vulnerable.
What is your step-by-step
process for making decisions with
embedded ethical dilemmas?
Ethical Decision Making
• Step 1: Gather all pertinent facts
• Step 2: Define all of the stakeholders who
will be affected by the decision
• Step 3: Define the possible courses of
• Step 4: Define the impact of each course
of action on each stakeholder group
• Step 5: Seek guidance from external
– Codes of conduct, Credos, Confidants
Ethical Decision Making
• Step 6: Engage affected parties in a discussion
of the issues
Step 7: Contemplate if your moral judgment is
being clouded (obedience, bystander, peer
pressure, etc.)
Step 8: Are there possible real options?
Step 9: Make decision based on all available
information and your value system
Step 10: Reality check (visibility generality, etc.)
How might the framework on the
prior two slides have helped
Would a formalized code of
conduct for the recruiting process
be useful for students and
What would be the key components of your
code of conduct?
Leventhal School of Accounting
at USC: A Code of Conduct
What would be the key
components of your corporate
code of conduct?
Corporate Codes of Conduct
• Fiduciary (diligence and loyalty)
• Property (protection and theft)
• Reliability (contracts, promises, and
• Transparency (Truthfulness, disclosure,
candor, and objectivity)
Corporate Codes of Conduct
• Dignity (Respect, confidentiality, learning and
development, and association & expression)
Fairness (dealing, treatment, competition, and
Citizenship (Laws, public goods, and civic
Responsiveness (address concerns and public
What implications does The
Parable of the Sadhu have for
effective business management?