An Ethical Dilemma Confronting Unjust Authority Case Study

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The new officer is torn between paying for the meals and having it for free. He does not know whether to follow in the footsteps of the experienced officers or to follow the moral code. The owner seems not to be having any problem with the officers taking free meals and the new officer is also told that the restaurant owner likes to have them around (Harding, 2010). It is also not known to him how the owner would react if he opted to pay for the meal. This draws him to an ethical dilemma. Should he assume everything and offer for food that is freely given? Should he honor the owner by paying for what he eats?

Ethical dilemmas always result to the existence of more than one choice such that none of them seems to be the best option. When one picks one of the choices, he is not at ease with that option and feels that maybe he should have picked the other option. In such a case, moral code is not the only decision making tool (Harding, 2010). Many things come into play when one is confronted with an ethical dilemma. In this situation, the new officer would not want to go against his older and experienced officers. It would also not to be right to order for food freely when the restaurant is opened purposefully for business. The available choices build up a complex dilemma that cannot be easily decided thus the situation becomes uncomfortable.


According to the moral code, the officers are supposed to pay for the services given to them. This would mean that they are appreciating whatever services the restaurant provides. Although the owner seems to have no issues with the officers no having free meals in his restaurant, he might be wondering why would they not pay for the food at times (Steinberg & Austern, 1990). Paying for the meals would mean that as much as their presence at the restaurant is welcomed, they are ethical enough not to exploit the owner of the business.

If the officers decide not to offer anything in return, they would be viewed as unthankful. How one would order for meals frequently and would not even opt to pay for them. Morals require that one should be grateful and conduct themselves in line with the expectations of the society (Pollock, 2012). The officers might be forced at one point to pay for the orders they make at the restaurant if moral action was to be taken against the officers.

Suppose Legal action was to be taken against the officers, none of them would be found guilty though because the owner was not forced into giving free meals to the officers. It is also claimed that their presence around the restaurant is encouraged by the owner (Steinberg & Austern, 1990). The officers too seem to be so used to the restaurant. The fact that they can order for anything shows that the owner and the officers are well known to each other[continue]

Sample of sources used:

  • Garber, P. R. (2008 Garber, P. R. (2008). The ethical dilemma. Amherst: HRD.
  • Harding, C. G. (2010). Moral dilemmas and ethical reasoning. New Brunswick [N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
  • Pollock, J. M. (2012). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
  • Steinberg, S. S., & Austern, D. (1990). Government, ethics, and managers: A guide to solving ethical dilemmas in the public sector. New York: Praeger.

Cite this Document:

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