Tales from the front-line: examining the potential of critical incident vignettes

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In common with many areas of the business andmanagement curriculum, the case study methodplays a significant role in business ethicseducation. However, case study material incommon use is dominated by well-publicisedincidents of corporate misconduct oftenproviding a limited insight intodecision-making affecting front-line stafffacing personal dilemmas in their workinglives. This paper gives examples of, andexamines how, critical incident vignettes(CIVs), derived from the personal reflectionsof students, can provide an alternative totraditional ``disaster style'' corporate cases.CIVs illustrate the real-life ethical dilemmasthat confront front-line employees, oftenoperating in an environment with low-levels ofpersonal autonomy. They also highlight thefactors that contribute to decision-making insuch an environment, the transitory andtransactional nature of many employmentrelationships and the evasion of moralresponsibility to which this can give rise
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching Business Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

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