Home is Where the House is

John and Marcia were excited about the new developments in their life.  John recently accepted a job at a small consulting firm in a new location.  Marcia owned a home-based business, so she was flexible about where she lived.  After many discussions, John and Marcia packed up all of their belongings and moved into a small rented apartment.  The first year at the new job went very well.  The company was thriving, and John and Marcia were thinking about settling down and starting a family.  John decided that he needed to talk with the owner of the firm about his career.  John explained that he wanted to purchase a home and settle into the community, but he wanted to make sure that he fit into the firm’s long-term plans.  The owner of the company praised John for all of his good work, and assured him that he would remain an important asset of the firm. Relieved, John went home to tell Marcia and they immediately started looking for a home.  John later told one of his co-workers, Alexis, about his discussion with the firm owner and his plans to buy a house.  Alexis was very inquisitive about John’s discussion with the owner, and appeared to be caught off guard.  John wasn’t sure what to make of Alexis’ reaction, but he quickly wrote it off as being nothing to be concerned about.
Alexis, on the other hand, was shocked at what she had heard.  Alexis is close friends with the owner of the firm, and knew that there was a good chance the firm would be closing in the near future. The owner was always complaining about the daily stress the business was causing him, and voiced his desire to dissolve the company and spend a year traveling around the world.  Alexis herself had been looking for another job for several months, and was devastated to hear about John’s plans for buying a home.

•    What are the ethical issues?
•    Should Alexis confront the owner about misleading John?
•    Does Alexis have an obligation to tell John the reality of the situation?

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3 Responses to Home is Where the House is

  1. greenmba2008 says:

    Alexis should confront the owner about misleading John. If she and the owner are good friends, this confrontation should not be a big deal. It is not Alexis’ place to tell John about the owner’s plans. Alexis should tell the owner of John’s plans to buy and house and start a family, and hopefully, the owner will feel bad and tell John the company may be closing. If the owner does not tell John, Alexis should hint to John that he needs to ask the owner about the longevity of the company. -Mandy

  2. greenmba2008 says:

    There are two ethical issues at work here: 1. The owner’s decision not to reveal to John that the firm may be closing in the near future, even though losing his job could cause John to lose his house and be unable to support a child. 2. Alexis’s dilemma about whether to clue John into the possibility of the business closing.

    Given the nature of Alexis’s relationship with the owner – close friendship – she can easily discuss the Owner’s conversation with John with the Owner. It is possible that the Owner wasn’t even aware of the implications of their conversation. After all, the Owner did tell John that he was a valued employee. He did not lie to John, he just withheld information. Perhaps the Owner wasn’t thinking about the impact that dissolving the business would have on John and his family. Even if the Owner intentionally withheld information from John, having a friend check-in might stir his moral conscience.

    The financial hardship that John and his family would endure if he were to lose his job, trumps the potential for conflict between Alexis and the owner. Alexis and the owner are friends, and Alexis is not likely to lose her job for notifying John of the potential closing. Alexis has a duty to share what she knows with John about the owner’s reasons for potentially liquidating the business.

  3. If you want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for 4/5. Detailed info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed parts. Thank you, anyway!

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