Question: Should Joe interfere and tell the front desk manager about the couple’s small scam? The Problem: Joe is facing a dilemma, whether to reveal the truth about the coupon or to keep silence. Who has to act: The problem owner and the one who has to act is Joe, since he knows that couple doesn’t have a coupon and is going to lie about their situation. At the same time he is a shareholder of this hotel, which makes the following situation more complicated. He is interested in higher profits of the hotel.
The moral nature of a problem: The moral nature of a problem is Joe’s situation and decision he has to make. The problem concerns his interests as a shareholder and as a person who incidentally became a witness of the scam planning. He is experiencing inner conflict between Joe-shareholder and Joe-witness. He understands that the couple’s plan will decrease his future benefits as a shareholder. 2 Problem analyses Five important stakeholders and their interests: 1 Joe – a shareholder, is interested in higher profits of the hotel. Ellen – a shareholder, is interested in higher profits of the hotel. 3 A couple – hotel guests, is interested in saving up some money by usage of a coupon. 4 A couple’s friend – a hotel guests, is interested in helping his/her friends (couple). 5 Individual from seventh floor – a random person, no sufficient information. Conflict of interests: 1 & 2 versus 3 & 4 – the most obvious conflict of this case. Joe and Ellen’s interests as a shareholder are going against couple’s plans to save up some money by cheating.
Relevant, uncertain and possible missing facts: – the relationship between couple and their friend is uncertain, whether they are acquaintances or lifetime friends. – it is unclear whether Joe and Ellen are the main shareholders of the hotel or have a small amount of shares. – the most uncertain fact is the connection of individual from seventh floor to the rest of the group. Who is an individual from seventh floor? “What makes matters worse is that, behind Joe and Ellen, the individual from the seventh floor is also waiting in line…. – this sentence from the text makes the sense that the individual from seventh floor has a strong connection to the situation in the elevator. 3 Options for action Joe has the following options for action: 1 To report to the hotel’s administration about the planned scam. This option would satisfy his personal interests as a shareholder and moral interests as well. Since, lie is not considered morally correct action. 2 To keep silence, thus giving opportunity to the couple to fulfill their plan and save up some money.
Joe might have no time to deal with this problem and might have less interest in earning more profit. 3 To try to persuade the couple not to lie to the front office manager. This option would lead to less dramatic outcome, rather than to report to the hotel’s administration, Joe could try to convince the couple to stay out of the scam. Thus, he would keep his interest as shareholder and his moral values satisfied. 4 If we assume that the individual from seventh floor is the hotel’s manager, than the situation might change cardinally.
Joe would not have to take any actions; hotel’s manager would deal with this problem on his behalf. Assumption The interesting and uncertain point of this case is the individual form seventh floor. If it was clear who he/she is, the solution of this problem would be resolved. 1 If the individual from seventh floor is the manager of the hotel, then the problem will be solved by him/her. Since, this would be his/her direct responsibility to take actions to resolve the couple’s problem. 2 If the individual from seventh floor is a random hotel guest, then it is interesting to analyze his/her further actions.
Then, this individual doesn’t have any interest in this situation. He/she would be a random witness of the planned scam. The moral nature of this individual’s problem would be whether he/she should interfere into the problem because it would contradict personal moral standards. At this point, the moral nature of the problem is in the personal moral standards of the individual from seventh floor. Should he/she stop the couple from lying at the front desk to save up some money? Or will individual’s conscience allow to stay aside of this problem?