Promotion Problems

Read the scenario and think about your answers to the questions.  Please share and discuss with your team and coworkers.

In a division of Omaha Corp., an engineering certificate is required for promotion. With the higher classification come additional responsibilities. Over time, it becomes apparent that employees are reluctant to take on the added responsibilities, so they do not put in the effort required to pass the exam for the certificate. However, one employee, Jimmy, takes the initiative to pass the exam, obtain his license, and prepare for the advancement by shadowing personnel at higher levels. Several weeks pass, and due to an opening, it appears that Jimmy will be promoted to a higher position – but at the last moment, Bobby, the more senior employee seizes the opportunity by hurrying to obtain his license and, by virtue of seniority and his contract, goes for the promotion.

Should Jimmy, who took initiative, showed leadership and “broke the logjam,” be promoted, thus impacting Bobby’s contract? Or should the promotion go to Bobby who waited until the last minute to go for the higher paying position?

Questions to think about, write about, or discuss with your team:

  • Is this an ethical dilemma? Why or why not?
  • If it is a dilemma, use the Decision Making Model to justify the action you should take.