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The Teachable Moments of Ethical Dilemmas

Patricia Harned | November 13, 2007

The phone rings; it’s a call to the compliance helpline. You greet your caller, and you are pleased to meet a well-spoken and seemingly responsible employee. She proceeds to tell you her problem.

The caller is a fairly senior employee in the company’s procurement division, and part of her responsibility is to assist with the review of competitive bids. She explains that she is unmarried, and at a conference a year ago met a gentleman who works in the industry, but not at your company. From time to time when this man is in town, he takes your caller out for a nice dinner. The dinners are always romantic, but the relationship is not at all serious. If the gentleman isn’t in town, your caller doesn’t hear form him.

The caller tells you that the man is coming to town again, and as usual, he has invited her to dinner. She is calling you, the compliance and ethics officer, because she wants to know whether she can say yes—...

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