Assume that you serve as a senior human resource executive for a large multinational firm with individual plants in Malaysia, Thailand, and Pakistan and with suppliers in Asia. A new CEO has been hired who is an advocate for rights of foreign workers, staking his personal reputation on the ethical and humane treatment of the company’s and suppliers’ employees. The senior human resource executive conducted an inspection of international operations and became concerned with less positive treatment of foreign workers in one of the company’s plants and in a supplier’s factory. The human resource executive communicated these concerns to the CEO, who asked that the human resource executive delay taking any action until after an upcoming shareholders’ meeting, to avoid a possible stock price drop and negative impact on senior management bonuses (including the human resource executive’s bonus).

Answer these case questions: What are the ethical issues in this situation? What are the arguments for and against following your CEO’s suggested approach? What do you think most managers would do, and what would be the repercussions of that decisions? What would be a better decision to make?

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