How should an organization choose between a decision that is legal and in the best financial interests of the organization, but which could be viewed as unethical?


Organizations from time to time must make hard decisions (expand, layoff employees or close a facility). As a manager you will have to use work experiences, advice from supervisors and the organizational culture to support your decision. Organizational culture is the sum of the values and beliefs shared among employees.

Suppose you are a manager who is faced with having to reduce headcount (layoff one of your two employees) in your unit. Sales within the company have declined due to the downward spiral of the economy each department within the organization is faced with making the same decision. Fortunately, you only have to cut one job; others are reducing more.

Mary is in her mid-20s, single, college graduate, she is very hard working and was in the top 10% of the performance ratings this year, she constantly volunteers to travel, work weekends and evenings. However, she supports political causes that could be viewed as contrary to the goals of the company.

Alice is in her mid-40s, has two young children, her husband is a doctor, her performance is good, and she has above average performance reviews. However, she has limited availability on weekends and limitations onovernight travel due to her volunteer work with local charities.

  • As a manager who would you select to layoff and why?
  • What other factors can be used to decide who gets laid off in organizations?
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