Raising the Ante Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Raising the Ante

Discussion Questions

Q1: If you were a board member, how would you vote on the issue Phyllis has raised? And Why?


There is a tremendous need to conduct a thorough and proper research about the issue raised by Ms. Phyllis Warren in a board meeting. The reason behind conducting a research is to know the background that is necessary to take further actions. As mentioned in the case, the board team has decided to reschedule the pay of men and women to avoid gender discrimination, but Warren was not satisfied as she demanded back pay. According to the concept of “back pay”, the board was obliged to pay back the compensation for the previous years. Before that, the board members were already in discussion to pay equally to male and female according to their work.

In order to make clarifications about the demand raised by Ms. Warren, two major things need to be considered. First, there is a need to discuss the issue of gender discrimination on a broader level and analyze it from a legal perspective. Next, there is a requirement to analyze the dilemma raised by Ms. Warren on the basis of the financial position along with the history of the company. In order to understand the issue raised by Ms. Warren, the committee needs to make an estimation about the cost related to pay reimbursements for all women in the company. Further, the board needs to analyze the level of suffering for the rest of the employees in the company (Winkler & Anne, 2010).

The issue of gender discrimination can be best analyzed through defining discriminatory decisions related to employment. In the U.S, equal employment opportunity commission is accountable for taking charge of all the discriminatory actions in the workplace. The evaluation related to discrimination are done on the basis of ethnicity, racial group, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or on the basis of genes. In addition, taking discriminatory action against an individual who has lodged a complaint against any discriminatory action is also illegal. Being a part of a board committee, it can be clearly evident that the company has gone against the regulations and rules of the EEOC as women’s salary should be equivalent to the men’s salary and for that, the board members need to take affirmative actions (Williams & John, 1990).

Me, Being a board member, it has been observed by most of the members that providing accommodation to Ms. Warren will eventually impact the overall performance of the company. Consequently, it would be wise and beneficial for the company to compensate the present wrong doings of the company because, the recent board committee is not accountable for the actions done by the past board member committee. Being a member of the board, my decision would surely be in favor of the board team. From the overall situation, the most affected stakeholders would be the ones whose salaries or benefits might be cut down to fulfil the request by Ms. Warren.

Q2: Does the board have an ethical dilemma on its hand? What moral principles are involved in this case?


Surely yes, the board members are facing an ethical dilemma as it can be defined as a complex situation in which there is a high level of conflict between the mental morality and moral imperatives. Anywhere in the world, discriminating individuals in the workplace has never been a right thing to do or accepted by the majority. The result of job discrimination in the workplace is bad feeling and demotivation about the work that in turn reduce productivity of the company.

Previously, the company was engaged in job discriminations on the basis of gender. Later, the board committee decided to pay equally to all the workers in the organization irrespective of their sex. In addition, women in the firm, especially Ms. Warren were trying to take advantage of the situation by demanding extra, that was not even required. Thus, ethical issues raised in the case are related to unequal treatment of employers to the committee. In addition to that, the committee was trying to take advantage of the benefit that has been announced by the board members and asking for more than a requirement. Furthermore, the overall scenario affects the financial position of the company that in turn may affect the suppliers and customers of the company as well. In addition to this, again, male workers of the firm will be affected by the overall situation of the firm.

From the concept of egoism theory by Adam Smith, what makes something good or bad, right or wrong is entirely dependent upon the things that it satisfies desires by others. According to this theory, the acts done by Ms. Warren was correct because she was opting to do something that was in her benefit.........................

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