Conflict on a trading floor
The case of conflicting on a trading floor depicted a realistic scenario we face in workplace of conflicting values, incentives and actions. Personal value and ethical standard often come across with practices at work. Shall we comply with our own standards and risk job or status, or compromise on our own standards and succumb to the pressure and expectations is a question we often ask ourselves when faced with similar situations. From our class discussions and my self-reflection, I came to realize two points I can use as a framework of thoughts in such situations. First, we should always bear in mind the bigger picture. The bigger picture includes the context of the environment, long-term consequences of actions and thinking in the counter party’s position. Very often, unethical practices are done to gain short-term benefits. This is done at the expense of future prospects, such as clients leaving once they realize they’ve been deceived, loss of reputation and respect, and loss of employment. Unethical practice rarely holds up for a long term and often reveals itself sooner or later. Even the smartest people cannot keep deception forever. The recent case on Goldman Sachs is a good example. Secondly, unethical practice is a slippery slope. Once we adopt it once, we are more likely to continue doing it. The opportunistic thought often pushes us further down the slope since we were not caught the first time. This is a rather more dangerous effect as it can lead to more serious, bigger or criminal offences which not only cause considerable damage to counterparties but also our own lives. Extreme caution should be given to this point when in a conflicting situation.
Giving voice to values
Speaking up and expressing discontent or concern in such situations is not always easy. We face enormous pressure and expectation. By speaking up, we might risk relationship with peers or superiors, or being isolated from the group, or even the...