Business Ethical Dilemma: Keller Ad Agency Case Study

Keller Ad Agency is a small ad agency in Providence, Rhode Island.  The firm started five years ago and has a promising future in the industry.  The ad agency is interested in attracting some larger clients and recently put in a bid for a city government contract.  The firm was one of two agencies up for a large government contract to do the ad work for the Providence’s government day campaign.

April and Jordan work for Keller Ad Agency as Creative Supervisors.  Luis, the Executive Creative Director, asked if April and Jordan would work on the presentation together.  Both women were eager to work on the project but April pointed out that she had to wrap up a campaign for the Providence Bruins.  Jordan indicated she had everything under control and assured Luis that the presentation would be top notch.

While April was busy finishing the campaign for the Bruins, Jordan put together the presentation.  After pulling the presentation together Jordan sat down with April the day before the final client meeting to go over the presentation.  Jordan knew that the presentation needed help and as expected, April’s knowledge and expertise helped address the gaps and put the final changes on the presentation.  Despite April’s last minute touches giving the presentation a “wow” factor, April encouraged Jordan to do the presentation and indicated that she would provide the supplemental information.

The presentation was a huge hit. 

The next day, Luis, pulled Jordan into his office going on about what terrific work Jordan did on the presentation.  Luis offered Jordan a promotion to Assistant Creative Director believing that Jordan had what it took to move the department forward.  Luis expressed how proud he was of Jordan and that it was an honor to offer her this newly created position since she would be the only one promoted to this level. 

Although Jordan wants to accept this new position, she knows April is far more qualified and deserving of the position.  Without April, the presentation would not have had been successful.  April provided the “wow” factor that captured the clients and won the contract. 

Paper info from the instructor

Assignment #1:  (Week 4)

Purpose: 

Business stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the general public, receive positive benefits from businesses that follow ethical principles and practices.  In the workplace, employees may find themselves in situations in which they have to choose the appropriate behavior.  It is possible to encounter situations that give rise to conflicts of interest, conflicts of loyalty or issues of honesty and integrity.  When they do, difficult decisions have to be made.  

Outcomes Met With This Assignment:

  • describe the ethical and social responsibilities that confront a business

Instructions:

This assignment is the first of two assignments.  You will read a case scenario related to business ethics.  In completing the assignment, you will analyze a case study scenario and apply the concepts learned in week 1 by answering a series of required elements.  You will complete the assignment by not asking questions but by responding to each required element thoroughly answering in paragraph and sentence format without bulleting.  

NOTE:  1) There are four classifications of ethical dilemmas: 1) conflict of interest; 2) conflict of loyalty; 3) issues of honesty and integrity; 4) bribes; and 5) whistleblowing.

            2)  An ethical dilemma is when someone struggles with deciding between two or more alternatives so the ethical dilemma is an either/or statement.    

Step 1:  Preparation for Writing the Assignment

Before you begin writing the paper, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements.  Not reading this information will lead to a lower grade:

Review “How to Analyze a Case Study” under Week 4 Content.  You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario focusing on using this information to determine opportunities and solve problems.

Read the grading rubric for the assignment.  Use the grading rubric while writing the paper to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.

In writing this assignment, you will read and following these tasks:

Task 1:  Third person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.

Task 2:  Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are expected NOT to use contraction in writing this assignment. 

Task 3:  You are expected to paraphrase and are NOT to use direct quotes.  You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link:   https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.

Task 4:  You are responsible for APA only for in-text citations and a reference list.

Task 5:  You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario paired with the weekly courses readings to develop the analysis and support the reasoning.  No more than two (2) external resources can be used in completing the assignment.  The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings.  If any material is used from a source document, it must be cited and referenced.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.   View the sample APA paper and the How to Cite and Reference file located under Week 4 content.

Please see Week 1 Content area – “How to Cite the Saylor eBook” to learn how to cite and reference the course eBook.

Step 2:  How to Set Up the Paper

Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font.  The final product will be between 4-5 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page.  You may not exceed five (5) pages so it is important to write clearly and concisely.

Follow this format.  Consider making an outline to ensure the correct headings are in place and to keep you organize the paper.

  • Title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name; date
  • Introduction;
  • Part One, in paragraph form using the following section headings:
    • Jordan’s Ethical Dilemma
  • Part Two, in paragraph form using the following section headings:
    • Employees’ Roles/Responsibilities in Ethical Situations
    • The Organization’s Role/Responsibility in Ensuring Ethical Practices
  • Summary paragraph

Step 3:  Read the Case Scenario provided under Week 4

Step 4:  Write the Introduction

Create the introductory paragraph.  The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper and tells a reader the main points covered in the paper.  To help you know how to write an introduction, view this website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph:  http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html

Step 5:  Part One

  1. Review the meaning of the different ethical dilemma categories and identify the correct category depicted in the case scenario?  Using the case scenario facts and the course readings, explain in detail why this this category was selected?
  2. Identify the ethical dilemma Jordan is faced with now.  Using the case scenario facts and the course readings, explain the ethical dilemma.  Note that an ethical dilemma should be phrases as an either/or statement. 
  3. Explain in one paragraph (about 4 -5 sentences) what Jordan should do now.

Step 6:  Part Two

  1. Identify and discuss a minimum of three factors that contribute to employees not operating ethically in business?  Please refer to the grading rubric.
  2. Identify and completely explain a minimum of two steps employees can take to making the most appropriate decisions when faced with an ethical situation.  Be sure to describe in detail.  Please refer to the grading rubric.
  3. Discuss a minimum of three ways an organization can help employees make appropriate decisions when faced with making a mistake in judgment.  Please refer to the grading rubric.
  4. Identify and discuss a minimum of two ways an organization can ensure that all parts of the organization operate ethically.  Please refer to the grading rubric.

Step 7:  Write the summary paragraph

Write the summary paragraph. A summary paragraph restates the main topics of the paper.  Make sure to leave a reader with a sense that the paper is complete.  The summary paragraph is the last paragraph of a paper and does not need a heading.

Step 8:  Review the Paper

Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present.  Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.

Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing. 

  • Read the paper aloud as a first measure;
  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
  • Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
  • Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.


An ethical dilemma is a situation that leads to moral conflict. A business operates on a particular set of ethics. Ethics is what an individual or society perceives to be right or wrong (Saylor.Org, p. 55). Ethics can be defined as the ability and free will of an individual to differentiate right from wrong. Different organizations tie themselves to particular behaviors. It is expected of management and employee to uphold ethical values. Business ethics require that individual act with honesty, fair treatment and selfless, in addition to supporting rules and regulations that govern the organization. Despite one recognizing the importance of business ethics, situations may arise that challenges practice. Such scenarios give rise to an ethical dilemma. The Keller Ad Agency case study presents examples of an ethical dilemma as discussed in this paper. The paper also analyses the role of employees in situations that dictates ethical conduct and the responsibility of the organization to uphold ethical practices.

Part One

  1. Ethical Dilemma Categories

An ethical dilemma alludes to a morally problematic situation, where one is expected to choose between two or more acceptable, but opposing alternatives that are vital to different groups. There are five categories of ethical dilemma, which include the following:

Conflict of interest. It is a phenomenon that requires an individual to make a choice of taking action that enhances their personal interests or that which favors the interest of another ((Saylor. Org, p. 72).

Conflict of loyalty.  It is the situation where an individual is torn between being loyal to either the employer or to a friend, family or colleague. Suggestively, it challenges one’s responsibilities as an employee and the relationships that exist between different people (Saylor.Org, p. 66)….

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