What would you do if you were in Bob’s position?

Bob was nearing retirement. Although he had enjoyed his job, he was growing bored and restless. In charge of so many people and projects, he was beginning to care less and less each day, and he knew that it was time to get out. Just the other day, he had accidentally allowed one of his managers to fire one of the company’s best workers for reasons more personal than professional. Once done, the action could not be reversed. Now Bob was afraid of making more mistakes. For years now, Bob had been in charge of his company’s China office. He liked living in China and working with the Chinese people. In fact, he was thinking of staying on after retirement, although he was looking forward to moving out of the hustle and bustle of Beijing. “Only one more month to go,” he thought, “and I’ll be free! Can I keep it together until then?” Suddenly, a day later, Bob had a desperate phone call from company headquarters in the United States. It had just been discovered that one of Bob’s managers had been embezzling funds from the company. Bob’s superiors were asking him to put off his retirement and to stay for at least six extra months to help clean up the problem caused by this manager. Bob felt conflicted. On the one hand, he felt that he could no longer perform his job well, nor did he want to anymore. On the other hand, he owed his company a great deal. Should he focus on himself and leave his company in the lurch? Or should he pull it together and help the company that had given him so much?

1. Identify the ethical dilemma at stake in this case.

2. What would you do if you were in Bob’s position?

3. Do you think Bob should keep his position in his current state?

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