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3 Examples of Ethical Dilemmas in Business and How Successful People Managed to Solve Them

Here are some examples of ethical dilemmas in business, and you will also find advice on how to fix them. We all know that ethics might have different connotations for different people. On a basic level, it relies on a sense of social wrong and right. When it comes to the context of business, ethics implies making decisions which are in concordance with the sense of wrong and right, but also with the law.

Let’s take a look at the examples below, unfolding some of the most common ethical dilemmas in business.

Side deals

Since you are a business manager who signed an employment contract, your employer expects you to be totally dedicated. Your job stipulates the fact that you need to work for your employer only, using your resources to attract as many clients as possible. However, you may be tempted to attract clients and divert the excess business somewhere else as long as you receive a commission. This is not ethical at all, and if you do not introduce this to your employer, you might be in breach of your contract.


Let’s say you are the boss in a mostly male environment. The presence of a female employee might agitate your team due to the fact that your firm did not develop sensitivity training. Therefore, some male employees display an inappropriate attitude towards the female employee and she comes to you, complaining about the problem. You may sanction those who bullied the female employee and might also think about moving her to another position.

You may want to think that she would not draw everyone’s attention if she works on a different project or in a different department. However, treating women different from men is wrong. It is unethical and a sign of discriminatory behavior to treat a woman in the workplace based on her gender.

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Some examples of ethical dilemmas in business may help you understand the importance of the code of ethics.

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If you are working for a public traded company as a board director, you need to be informed about the investigatory process required by an anticipated merger. Being a board manager requires you to be very careful and respect the company’d decisions. Otherwise, you can jeopardize the company and the shareholders. If you do not investigate a problem as you should, then you damage the interests of shareholders, this being a total negligence.

To combat these ethical dilemmas, you could follow some of the advice below.

Read the firm’s code of ethics

If you are always informed and updated, you can solve any ethical dilemma. The code of ethics offers a scenery on which you can weigh the cons and pros when making a decision. This will provide you a clear view of regarding which of your decisions is in concordance with your company ethics.

Tell your supervisor about your dilemma

If you feel like you cannot find a solution on your own, you should consult your supervisor, asking for her/his opinion. Your supervisor has a lot more experience than you have, and they can definitely help you decide.

Summing up, the ethical stated above are the most common ones.  When finding such a problem, remember that you are responsible for your deeds in the workplace. Hence, you need to be very careful.