1. Define what is meant by the term Ethical Dilemma. Ethical Dilemma also known as moral dilemma is a complex case to which a situation wherein moral precepts or ethical obligations conflict in such a way that any possible resolution to the dilemma is morally unsatisfying. In the case of the Sadhu, it is defined by Stephen’s moral concern and ethical obligation feel of fully catering to the care of the helpless sadhu versus Bowen’s approach towards the situation and his reasoning.
Stephen and Bowen had an argument in regards of how the sadhu was treated to the point Stephen tried to generalize the case to a more common one where he had asked Bowen if he would have reacted the same way if it was a Western woman in need of the same kind of help. 2. Identify and describe the ethical dilemma that the travellers must address when they meet the sadhu. The travellers were on a journey on their way to the top of the high passes of the Himalayas which would take them about 2 days in total to achieve.
The ethical dilemma that was presented to the travellers was the unexpected presence of the sadhu left to cold bearing close to nothing on his skin in need of help while –for the travellers- still having to reach the top before the bright sun melted the snow. At the point where the helpless was found, it would have taken about 2 more days to carry him all the way down to the village for nursing assistance; in their best individualist attempt, they each and every one contributed to their convenience (enough not to become an inconvenience).
The New Zealander offered his hand by bringing him down to their attention of the porters and Sherpa guides while Bowen took a carotid pulse and found out he (sadhu) was still alive. Stephen and the four Swiss proceeded by offering pieces of clothing and shoes to have him covered as much as possible so he could warm up a bit. Essentially the main ethical dilemma presented to the travellers when meeting with the sadhu is how to help him without having them to go out of their way to cause any inconvenience or major interruption to their main purpose there (arrive to the top of mount before a certain period of the day).
Stephen had asked to use the Japanese horses to help transport the sadhu down to the hut, they refused and instead offered him food and beverages. Stephan then asked the Pasang to have a group of their porters carry the sadhu, the Pasang hesitantly responded that this would exert all of their energy to get themselves over the pass. The Sherpas then finally decided to carry the sadhu down to a rock in the sun at about 15,000 feet and pointed out the hut which was about another 500 feet below. . The author writes, “In a complex corporate situation, the individual requires and deserves the support of the group”. Explain how he arrives at this conclusion using the case. Despite all the debatable conversations he had shared with Stephen to explain his point of view, Bowen couldn’t help but to feel remorseful looking back at the sadhu situation, this helped him come to conclusion that this situation offers an interesting parallel to business situations.
He agreed that none of them but Stephen realized the true magnitude of the problem they were facing; the problem was that as a group, they had no process for developing an efficient consensus. He admitted that the problem they were dealing with was so complex that no one person was in a position to handle all on their own. Stephen was the only one willing to take charge but had no support from the group to care for the sadhu. Bowen states that organizations that do not have a heritage of mutually accepted and shared values tend to become unhinged during stress, with each individual bailing out for himself or herself.
As a result, it was proven that companies that had strong cultures drew the wagons around them and fought it out, while other companies (individualist type of companies) saw their own executives bail out of the struggles. Because corporations and their members are interdependent, for the corporation to be strong the members need to share a preconceived notion of correct behaviour and think of it as a positive force, is what Bowen finally realized while comparing to the sadhu case.
He compared Stephen’s reaction versus the rest of the group’s reaction towards the help they were willing to offer the sadhu as similar to an employee’s personal interest with personal value looking to provide the foundation for its corporate culture. 4. What role does the ethics of the individual play in forming the ethics of the corporation? Explain using examples from the case.
Individual ethics are fundamental to the success of a corporation and need to be encouraged by management in order to stay competitive and when under stress – not bailing out when presented in complications. Bowen states “we cannot quit our jobs over every ethical dilemma, but if we continually ignore our sense of values, who do we become? ” What he means by that is that it is essential to a corporation success to implement individual ethics in order to efficiently overcome ethical dilemma that the company may be facing, and not just individually go our apart and give up.
The ethics of the individual are very important simply because like Bowen mentions corporations and their members are interdependent and for the corporation to be strong the members need to share a preconceived notion of correct behaviour and think of it as a positive force, not a constraint. What this means is that, not a standard implemented in regards of ethic is to be executed but rather an understanding and respect of collective ethics of the individuals that form the corporation. To be ethical is to follow the business as well as the cultural goals of the corporation, its owners, its employees, and its customers.
Individuals who operate from a thoughtful set of personal values provide the foundation for corporate culture. Bowen came to conclusion that a corporate tradition that encourages freedom of inquiry, supports personal values, and reinforces a focused sense of direction can fulfill the need to combine individuality with the prosperity and success of the group. Without such corporate support, the individual is lost. In complex situations, the individual deserves the support of its group, when people cannot find such support in their organizations they tend to not know how to act.
In a case where such support is forthcoming, the individual has a stake in the success of the group and can add much more to the actual process of establishing and maintaining a good corporate culture. For management, it is crucial for them to be sensitive to individual needs, to shape them and to direct and focus them for the benefit as the corporation. To conclude, without management’s acceptance and encouragement of the individual’s personal stake and interest in the success of the success of the corporation, when under stress they may be presented to an unfixable surprise and may have to bail out under the pressure of such stress.
Cite this Parable of Sadhu
Parable of Sadhu. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/parable-of-sadhu/