Changing Jobs and Changing Loyalties
Case 10.1 Changing Jobs and Changing Loyalties
cynthia Martinez was thrilled when she first received the job offer from David Newhoff at Crytex
Systems. She had long admired Crytex, both as an industry leader and as an ideal employer, and the
position the com-pany was offering her was perfect. “ It’s just what I’ve always wanted,” she told her
husband, Tom, as they uncorked a bot-tle of champagne. But as she and Tom talked, he raised a few
questions that began to trouble her. “ What about the big project you’re working on at Altrue right
now? It’ll take three months to see that through,” Tom reminded her. “ The company has a lot riding on
it, and you’ve always said that you’re the driving force behind the project. If you bolt, Altrue is going to
be in a real jam.” Cynthia explained that she had mentioned the project to David Newhoff. “ He said he
could understand that I’d like to see it through, but Crytex needs someone right now. He gave me a
couple of days to think it over, but it’s my big chance.” Tom looked at her thoughtfully and responded,
“ But Newhoff doesn’t quite get it. It’s not just that you’d like to see it through. It’s that you’d be
letting your whole project team down. They probably couldn’t do it without you, at least not the way it
needs to be done. Besides, Cyn, remember what you said about that guy who quit the Altrue branch in
Baltimore.” “ That was different,” Cynthia responded. “ He took an existing account with him when he
went to another firm. It was like ripping Altrue off. I’m not going to rip them off, but I don’t figure I owe
them anything extra. It’s just business. You know perfectly well that if Altrue could save some money by
laying me off, the company wouldn’t hesitate.” “ I think you’re rationalizing,” Tom said. “ You’ve done
well at Altrue, and the company has always treated you fairly. Anyway, the issue is what’s right for you
to do, not what the company would or wouldn’t do. Crytex is Altrue’s big com-petitor. It’s like you’re
switching sides. Besides, it’s not just a matter of loyalty to the company, but to the people you work
with. I know we could use the extra money, and it would be a great step for you, but still…” They
continued to mull things over together, but the champagne no longer tasted quite as good. Fortunately,
she and Tom never really argued about things they didn’t see eye to eye on, and Tom wasn’t the kind of
guy who would try to tell her what she should or shouldn’t do. But their conversation had started her
wondering whether she really should accept that Crytex job she wanted so much.
. Discussion Questions
1. What should Cynthia do? What ideals, obligations, and effects should she take into account when
making her decision?
2. Would it be unprofessional of Cynthia to drop everything and move to Crytex? Would it show a lack of
integrity? Could moving abruptly to Crytex have negative career consequences for her?
3. Is it morally wrong, morally permissible, or morally required for Cynthia to take the new job? Examine
Cynthia’s choice from a utilitarian point of view. How would Kant and Ross look at her situation?
4. What does loyalty to the company mean, and how impor-tant is it, morally? Under what
circumstances, if any, do employees owe loyalty to their employers? When, if ever, do they owe loyalty
to their coworkers?
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