The last few months have seen me confronted with a range of issues on the ethics front, which I thought I’d share with you.
In 2014 I had turned down the offer of a team leadership role on a project in Albania. The terms of reference (ToR) didn’t stack up in all manner of ways. I knew that if I did get the job, it would be hell on earth to manage. I warned the tendering companies but they went ahead and bid for the job. In September 2016 the company that had won the contract called me. They were in real trouble for exactly the reasons I had identified. The Albanian client had insisted they replace the team leader or risk having the contract severed. To cut a long story short, I agreed to take over as team leader for the remaining three months of the contract. My ethical dilemma was simple. I was trying to defend my employer against accusations of negligence that I knew to be fully justified, but it didn’t stop there. I was trying to satisfy a client who expected the undeliverable. To cap it all, I was also trying to stay on the right side of the development banks who were paying for the work but had failed to spot the almost complete lack of coherence in the project design. I’m sure that I stepped on various toes in the process, but I did succeed in delivering everything the ToR required and to the satisfaction of the banks, so that my employer could (finally) get paid for the work. The world of business is sometimes a messy place and one doesn’t get a job done by remaining aloof from it on the basis of some nose-in-the-air desire to avoid ethical dilemmas.
Stuart Brown, Volunteer Head of Ethics and Sustainability Enterprise
What ethical dilemmas are you faced with? If you are able, please share and we will publish them