Ethical Dilemma Confronting Unjust Authority Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

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.

Different Professions have their own code of conduct and each of the employees is expected to work within the set code of conduct (Pollock, 2012). These officers are not limited to entering restaurants to have meals neither are they told on how or which meals they should order. No action would be taken against them as no charges can be pressed against them.

Unjust element

The police officers tend to take advantage of the restaurant. They use the fact that they are police officers to obtain free meals from the restaurant. There is no restaurant that would frequently offer its customers free meals (Pollock, 2012). It is only through their authority that the police officers are able to get free meals at the restaurant.

The dilemma cannot be resolved by the Pollack book as no code of conduct that is off provided by the author. The book only presents the dilemma to the reader and it is up to the audience to decide on their own the best solution to the dilemma.


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.s

Steinberg, S.S., & Austern, D. (1990). Government, ethics, and managers: A guide to solving…

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