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Management article
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Reference no. 92402
Authors: Gary E Banas
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1992

Abstract

Managers who supervise employees with AIDS face untenable choices that seem to pit their humanity against their obligation to the organization. Over a period of four years, two of Banas''s direct subordinates developed AIDS, and he watched them suffer through debility, slowly deteriorating performance, and eventual death. He also watched the gradual decline of their staff''s productivity and morale. Banas discovered that AIDS patients fall into no single, neat category. Finally, he came to understand that while managers have an unequivocal obligation to treat AIDS-afflicted employees with compassion and respect, they have an equally unequivocal obligation to keep their organizations functioning.

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Abstract

Managers who supervise employees with AIDS face untenable choices that seem to pit their humanity against their obligation to the organization. Over a period of four years, two of Banas''s direct subordinates developed AIDS, and he watched them suffer through debility, slowly deteriorating performance, and eventual death. He also watched the gradual decline of their staff''s productivity and morale. Banas discovered that AIDS patients fall into no single, neat category. Finally, he came to understand that while managers have an unequivocal obligation to treat AIDS-afflicted employees with compassion and respect, they have an equally unequivocal obligation to keep their organizations functioning.

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