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Question: Maya confides in her friend and colleague,

Maya confides in her friend and colleague, Alicia, “My husband Gene is very sick. I haven’t shared this with anyone else at work because I didn’t want them to think I couldn’t manage my responsibilities. He was diagnosed last year with progressive Parkinson’s and I thought it would move slowly, and that I could handle everything. Believe me, I am trying to keep everything under control, but our home life is just overwhelming me already. You couldn’t imagine how hard this is – physically and emotionally – plus there’s the added pressure of keeping it under wraps at work. You know they’ll start diminishing my role on those larger projects if they knew my attention might be diverted, and Gene and I just can’t risk the financial instability that might cause. I really appreciate being able to talk to you. I had to get this off my chest, and I knew I could trust you.” Alicia offered her shoulder and told Maya that she could count on her to cover for her, if need be, or to support her in any way she needed. Three weeks later, Alicia and Maya are separately called into the president’s office and told that they are both being considered for a more senior level position. This new position would require a great commitment of both time and energy and would involve taking on a large number of subordinates for mentoring and development. Both women express a strong interest in the position and are told that they will learn of the president’s decision within two weeks. What should Alicia do with the information Maya gave her, if anything? Notwithstanding your response to the previous question, if Alicia chooses to inform the president of Maya’s current situation, would you consider that action to be wrong, unethical? If you were the president in this current scenario, what could you do to impact the corporate culture in order to ensure that your preferred result in this dilemma occurred in the future?


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