An Ethical Dilemma case

The first instance made it clear

The professor seat left vacant by Art's retirement will be filled by someone with at least an MBA in accounting. Evan Comstock's efforts to promote an unqualified candidate, David, to the post were unethical. Evan lacked the minimum qualification for the post, regardless of whether he was under Arts wing or a competent tutor at Youngstown Community College. It's no surprise that Evan's actions were questioned and his objectives were thwarted by the vice president, Schilling. However, it seems that even though Evan was given the directive to rewrite a job description and the position filled by Lana, he was looking to have the position vacant after a while. This explains his efforts to frustrate Lana to the point that she thinks of quitting the job. Despite Lana’s efforts to conduct herself professionally, Evan seems determined to ensure that she loses her job and have the vacant position filled by David – who almost through with his MBA.

The Ethical Issue

The ethical issue, in this case, is that even though Lana has been recruited for the position based on merit and has acted professionally throughout, Evan is bullying and harassing her to the point that she considers resigning. Evan has created a hostile environment for Lana by disrespecting her, evaluating her unfairly, and dishonestly criticizing her every conduct (Reilly, Sirgy & Gorman, 2012). Moreover, Lana understands that she is on trial service for two more years, and Evan is at liberty to fire her for any misconduct without repercussions. In addition to that, Lana feels like she will have let down her family if she decides to quit as they changed their lives, move to Youngstown, and support her career.

Evan’s Behavior

Evan, being the dean, is at the position of leadership. He is expected to guide, motivate, support, and treat his juniors fairly. However, Evan is not pleased by Lana’s arrival to the faculty. He demotivates Lana by claiming that the high student appraisal from her class is due to the student’s assuming that it is an “easy A.” Evan monitors her class consistently and even visits her class to interrupt and frustrate her and her students. Even as he sends emails to criticize her teaching, Evan has never honored their appointment to discuss the issue. Evan’s behavior is unethical and creates a hostile environment that is so toxic for Lana to operate in (Reilly, Sirgy & Gorman, 2012). Evan’s behavior tortures Lana psychologically and makes it hard for her to perform her duties.

Lana’s Possible Courses of Action

When faced with an ethical dilemma, one analyzes several means of finding a solution to the dilemmas. Lana’s immediate line of action was to report the issue to Human Resource manager, Mary. In this case, she may take the justice approach and, orally or by letter, demand for fair treatment by Evan (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2015). Lana works diligently and performs her tasks without question, thus, in this case, she should write to him or request the HR to press for Evan to treat her fairly. The problem is that she is still on trial service, and at the slightest mistake, Evan may find the justification to fire her.

Secondly, Lana may take the Rights ethical approach to solving the dilemma (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2015).

In this case, Lana can judge that she needs to be accorded the respect given to other members of the faculty. If that is not possible, then she can demand that through escalating the issue to the vice-president, Schilling, who is aware of Evan's previous unethical conduct. The problem with this is that Evan may end up facing disciplinary action, demoted, or even lose his job. The efforts he had dedicated to the school and the faculty would not matter anymore.


Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases (pg. 150-162). Nelson Education.

Reilly, N. P., Sirgy, J., & Gorman, C. A. (Eds.). (2012). Work and quality of life: Ethical practices in organizations (pg. 375-377). Springer Science & Business Media.

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