[SOLVED] Complete Chapter 1 Case Study Question

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1.6 Case Studies

Gray Matters

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To foster ethical discussion and understanding in the workplace, the Lockheed Martin company developed a quiz for employees called “Gray Matters.” The quiz is multiple choice, with a range of points awarded (or subtracted) depending on the response. Subsequently, the approach has been adopted by a wide range of corporations. Here’s a typical question matched with its possible answers and the corresponding points:

Six months after you hired an assistant accountant who has been working competently and responsibly, you learn that she departed from the truth on her employment application: she claimed she had a college degree when she didn’t. You’re her manager; what should you do?

  1. Nothing because she’s doing her job just fine. (–10 points)
  2. Bring the issue to the human resources department to determine exactly how company policy determines the situation should be handled. (10 points)
  3. Fire her for lying. (5 points)
  4. Carefully weigh her work performance, her length of service, and her potential benefit to the company before informing anyone of what happened or making any recommendations. (0 points)


  1. The three principle components of business ethics are facts, values, and arguments. What are the facts pertinent to an ethical evaluation of this case? Is there any information not contained in the question that you’d like to have before making a decision about what should be done?
  2. From the facts and information provided, can you sketch a set of values and chain of reasoning justifying the answer that the quiz’s original authors sanctioned as the right one? (Leave the decision in the hands of the HR department and existing company policy.)
  3. You get some points for C (firing her). What values and reasoning may lead to that determination?
  4. According to the quiz authors, the worst answer is A. Maybe they’re wrong, though. What values and reasoning may lead to the conclusion that doing “nothing because she’s doing her job just fine” is an excellent response?
  5. One of the most important questions about a situation’s facts is “who’s involved?”
    1. Would it be reasonable to say that, ethically, this is an issue just between you and the woman who you hired after she lied on her résumé?
    2. If you expand the answer about who’s involved to include other workmates at the company, as well as the company’s clients and shareholders, does that change the ethical perspective you have on what should be done with the lying (but capable) coworker?
  6. What’s the difference between morality and ethics?
    1. Would you categorize response B (bring the issue to HR to determine exactly how company policy determines the situation should be handled) as leading to a decision more based on morality or more based on ethics? Explain.
    2. Would you categorize response D (carefully weigh her work performance, her length of service,and her potential benefit to the company before informing anyone of what happened or making any recommendations) as leading to a decision more based on morality or ethics? Explain.

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