In Katzman’s ethical dilemma whereby he was divided on whether to respect his superiors’ order to extract client information or retain the clients’ information confidentiality by disregarding his superiors’ call to extract the client information, it is probable that Katzman was to arrive at his decision based on his individual character and moral values.
James Katzman who was a Goldman employee as well as a head of the West Coast mergers-and-acquisitions practice, contacted a whistleblower for the bank through the phone number to raise concerns regarding a variety of unethical practices “A Top Goldman, n.d”. Among his complaints entailed efforts by Goldman to employ a child of a client and also recurring efforts by a colleague to acquire and share clients’ confidential information. James Katzman experienced a critical ethical dilemma through multiple occasions whereby senior Goldman bankers pressured him to extract clients’ confidential information which they had the intention of sharing with other customers and also use them for the benefit of the bank “A Top Goldman, n.d”. Unauthorized extraction of client information is unethical and a violation of clients’ information confidentiality. On the other hand, Katzman is entitled to follow orders and cooperate with his superiors “A Top Goldman, n.d”. Therefore, Katzman was faced with an ethical dilemma of whether to respect his superiors’ call to extract client information or retain the clients’ information confidentiality by disregarding his superiors call to extract the client information. This paper will analyze the ethical dilemma faced by James Katzman on whether to admit or refute the order from his superiors to extract client information. This ethical dilemma will be analyzed using three ethical decision-making frameworks which include; virtue ethics, consequential theory, and the duty framework.
Ethical dilemma Analysis
Virtue ethics is an approach on the basis of tenents of Aristotle’s ethics necessitating that decisions are supposed to be arrived at based on the understanding of one’s character and also moral values (Lesson 1, Slide 16). In Katzman’s ethical dilemma whereby he was divided on whether to respect his superiors’ order to extract client information or retain the clients’ information confidentiality by disregarding his superiors call to extract the client information, it is probable that Katzman was to arrive at his decision based on his individual character and moral values. One’s individual character together with moral values contributes a lot in making an ethical decision. In the ethical dilemma that Katzman faced, his character ultimately influenced his decision to do a good thing. This ethical issue was both at the individual level whereby Katzman’s moral values influence his decision.
Given that Katzman is a reputable man and with good morals, it was probable that during that ethical dilemma, he would probably make an ethical decision. It was certain that he would refuse to extract the clients’ information to his superiors which is ethically good and expected of him since he is a reputable man with good conduct. He would not entertain such unethical conduct because he was governed by his moral values (Lesson 1, Slide 16). Katzman’s conduct is characterized with trustworthiness, self-discipline, and honesty which are accompanied with his topnotch business skills like communication skills, financial competence, and critical thinking which have enabled him to contribute to the company’s success. Katzman is acknowledged as a self-driven person focused on maintains a transparent relationship in their business “A Top Goldman, n.d”. Therefore, Katzman’s character influenced him to make an ethical decision and that is why he chose to act ethically by rejecting to extract clients information.
The consequential theory is an approach for determining an ethical course of conduct on the basis of end results. Before making a decision, the consequences are considered practically. In this case, given the ethical dilemma that Katzman faced it is probable that the ethical decision that he made rejecting to extract client information as ordered by his superior was based on his ability to critically think and reason out the consequences that Goldman company will encounter. In fact, Katzman is considered to be among the top contributors to the success of the company. Since attaining the success of the company is an uphill task, Katzman would not want their effort to be ruined. Taking into consideration that extracting client information is ethically wrong and a violation of clients’ information confidentiality would lead to serious negative consequences for the company, this would definitely shape his decision to make an ethical decision that would be beneficial for the company (Lesson 4, Slide 10). The utilitarian approach plays a significant role here, to be ethically correct; this dilemma should be in favor of the large group of people (Lesson 2, Slide 18). Katzman’s decision was based on benefiting both the entire company and all the clients. Rejecting to extract client information is for the common good and is ethically right.
The Duty Framework
This framework puts emphasis on the duties as well as obligations provided in a certain situation and also take into consideration the ethical obligation that one has and the things that one is expected not to do. Ethical conduct is achieved when an individual does his or her duties and the objective is to perform the right action (Lesson 2, Slide 6). In this ethical dilemma, extracting client information is a wrong action and therefore that is unethical conduct. All employees including Katzman have a duty to secure and keep the confidentiality of clients’ information. During that ethical dilemma, duty to protect and keep the confidentiality of the client’s information plays a significant role in making an ethical decision (Lesson 3, Slide 8). Having considered his duty to keep the confidentiality of the client’s information, Katzman made an ethical decision to reject doing so and went ahead to report the unethical practices.
Conclusion & Recommendation
By framing an ethical dilemma situation through the above frameworks, precise features are brought out clearly into focus. Although it should be taken into consideration that every framework has its limitations, putting emphasis on one set of futures, may lead to obscuration of other important features. Making ethical decisions needs sensitiveness to ethical implications for problems and practice. To overcome ethical dilemmas challenges, it is important to have a framework of ethical decision making. In this situation, based on the virtue ethics, duty framework and consequential theory it is evident that it is important that ethical dilemmas both at the individual and organizational level to have a framework which will help to make ethical decisions. Personal conduct and morals are critical in making ethical decisions. Goldman should teach morals to its employees since it will help in making ethical decisions when faced with an ethical dilemma. Moreover, the company should offer business skills such as critical thinking and business ethics to its employees so as to improve their reasoning capacity to make ethical decisions when faced with a dilemma. Moreover, Goldman should come up with strict policies on the need for all employees to engage in ethical practices. Also, Goldman should make sure that unethical issues and practices are punishable. This will help to avoid the levels of unethical conducts and practices in the company.