Solved Ethics Papers

Q12. The Dilemma of An Interested Witness

Q12. You are the manager of a spare parts company A and you have to negotiate a deal with the manager of a large manufacturing company B. The deal is highly competitive and sealing the deal is critical for your company. The deal is being worked out over dinner. After dinner, the manager of manufacturing company B offered to drop you to your hotel in his car. On the way to the hotel, he happens to hit a motorcycle injuring the motorcyclist badly. You know the manager was driving fast and thus had lost control. The law enforcement officer comes to investigate the issue and you are the sole eyewitness to it. Knowing the strict laws pertaining to road accidents you are aware that your honest account of the incident would lead to the prosecution of the manager and as a consequence the deal is likely to be jeopardised, which is of immense importance to your company.
What are the dilemmas you face? What will be your response to the situation? (250 words, 20)
 
Answer
In this case, you are interested in getting the deal from company B and you had met the manager over dinner to work out the deal. It is, however, not clear if the deal had already been made or if it was only expected to be made. It can, however, be said that there may be a good possibility of getting the deal, if you give a favourable statement in favour of the manager of company B.
If you choose to speak the truth, the manager would be in trouble and he may even be arrested. This may lead to the cancellation of the deal. This case presents a dilemma between the prima facie principles of honesty and non-maleficence i.e. not causing harm to the manager.
If you choose to give false account of the incident to save the manager of company B, you may have a better chance of getting the deal. However, you may be doing an unethical and illegal act by lying since you are required to speak the truth before the police and also in the interest of justice for the family of the injured person. In case, the speed is recorded in a CCTV camera, you may even be punished for giving false statement before the police.
Hence, you should speak the truth and give the correct statement to the police following the principle of honesty as it would not be appropriate to save a person who has harmed another person. Even if you lose the deal, you would feel proud of your honesty and live honourably. You may still get the deal on merit if company B is an ethical company. (272 words)
 
Q12. The Dilemma of An Interested Witness
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