The Ethical Trap
An ethical trap consists of two major ethical decisions, a primary and a secondary
ethical decision. The secondary ethical decision arises after a poor primary ethical decision.
Individuals who find themselves in such ethical dilemmas are considered to be caught in an
ethical trap. There is always no escaping from the trap unscathed because making a secondary
ethical decision results in the concerned authorities or parties questioning why the primary
decision was unethical in the first place (Schafer, 2011). In this case, the primary decision is
always regarded as errant and impossible to justify.
There are several ethical dilemmas that lead individuals to inescapable ethical traps. An
incident that I am aware of occurred in a financial institution which deals with monetary
transactions and offers financial services such as loans, investments, and currency exchange to
its customers. In his endeavors, the regional manager was engaging in financial fraud by
fraudulently pumping up the value of the company while covering up massive debts that the
company had accrued. His assistant was mandated with the task of cooking the books during
each quarterly financial review. Even though the assistant knew that she was an accomplice in
financial fraud, she never mentioned it to the authorities or even asked her superior about it.
About a year in, customers began to lose investment money in drones. This attracted the
attention of the authorities who contacted the assistant manager to present the company's
financial records for the past year. At this moment, she was caught in an ethical trap because
revealing that the company was cooking the books would make her an accomplice to fraud,
while lying about it would make her unethical and land her in greater trouble with the
authorities when the truth comes out....
15 Million Students Helped!
Sign up to view the full answer