Ethical Question

You are Robert. Here is your ethical dilemma:

Robert is the manager of a regional office.  His employees claim that it is too cold at their work stations.  A comprehensive heating system would be prohibitively expensive (about $25,000).  The president of the company is unsympathetic, so Robert made an unauthorized purchase of six space heaters to put around employees’ desks.  To place them correctly, he used extension cords and taped the wires to the carpet so no one will trip.  He believes the method is safe, and no one has tripped.

A building inspector, who just happened to drop by, told Robert that the system violates city codes and must be removed and that your company is subject to a $1,000 fine.  You know your employer will be furious if he has to pay the fine.  The inspector told Robert that if Robert would give him $100, he will forget what he saw and let Robert continue using the heaters.  Robert can squeeze $100 out of petty case without anyone knowing.  Can Robert resolve this situation ethically?

Answer these questions: 1) Who has the power?  2) What kind of power does that person bring to bear on the problem? 3) With respect to the ethical use of power, clearly articulate both sides of the dilemma in your case. 4) What would each of the following leaders tell you about the use of power and ethics to guide your resolution to this issue? The leaders are:  Freud, Marx/Engels, and Follett.

Do not aggregate your answers for the leaders. Defend your response.