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Reference no. 702-004-1
Compact case
Peter R Gillies (Nutreco)
Published in:
5 pages
Data source:
Generalised experience


The story is situated in the World Trade Center, New York City, 11 September, 2001. The main character and narrator of the story is never named, but we know he is an analyst with Mergan Stenley. The complications are numerous. First, our main character doesn''t feel that he fits in as he''s made few friends since being relocated to these New York offices. Second, during the drama of the attack he is consumed by his own personal agenda. Third, he is in the ultimate ambiguous situation. He ends up getting out of the mortally wounded building by the skin of his teeth and is confronted by a co-worker with the ethical dilemmas he has just experienced. At first, he is unaware of any ethical or moral considerations; thereafter he tries to defend his actions, but ends up with a feeling of guilt. This guilt is then the lead-in to a discussion of morals, values, ethics, responsibility, and accountability. Some groups have used this case as a bridge to discuss group dynamics and teamwork and Chris Argyris'' Espoused Theory and Theory-in-Use. This case can be used in corporate management training when dealing with values, morals, codes of conduct, and ethics as well as in MBA level organisational behaviour and human resources courses. The teaching objective is to allow students the opportunity to discover more about ethical decision making in times of stress. The situation presents something almost otherworldly as a means to get at the all too real everyday work decisions.


Ethics; Values; Espoused theory; Responsibility; Accountability; Theory in use; Morals; Self-awareness; Fear; Crisis; Stress; Motivation; Decision-making
400 employees

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