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HR leaders frequently find themselves in situations that require tact and diplomacy. While most business
decisions are made in ways that balance potential conflicts, occasionally, there are serious ethical and
legal challenges that must be navigated. C-Suite leaders must be able to deal with situations that do not
have an obviously “right” solution, that involve power struggles and confidences and that sometimes pit
the interests of individuals against one another, and the interests of the business.
HR leaders must also understand the role they play both as advocates for employees and strategic
partners to the C-Suite. Having a seat at the table frequently requires a delicate and nuanced approach
to conflict management, while still demanding that HR be clear in its message. It also, frequently,
requires that decisions must be made about if, when and how to bring a problem to the CEO and when
the issue should be dealt with at a lower level.
• This assignment is based on the attached scenario which presents a complex ethical and
(potentially) legal challenge.
• Information has surfaced that may involve an ethical and/or legal violation, but a fellow employee
has asked that this concern be kept confidential.
• While the discussion was after hours and private, because of the potential seriousness of the
situation you determine you must address this with the CEO. As part of this discussion you must
not just update the CEO, but give a recommendation and rationale for your CEO to consider.
You can’t simply leave CEO with the problem. Your recommendation should address
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