Sticky Fingers The business environment from the Sticky Fingers case involves three main individuals including the Human Resource Manager, the security manager, and a salesman in the names of Susan, Mike, and Todd respectively. The case incorporates a process for determining the individual responsible for stealing an expensive diamond studded watch. Since Mike was in charge of the security department, he had the responsibility of finding out how the theft took place and who was responsible. The Human Resource Manager was also in charge of determining the step that would be taken if the culprit were one of the retail store employees. The relevant facts of the case include that only one employee had come into contact with the stolen watch before it disappeared; Todd.
In addition, the security manager has done relevant investigations by analyzing the closed circuit TV videotapes made during the day the watch was stolen. Having done the investigation, Mike has discovered that external theft cannot be blamed for the misplacement of the watch. On the other hand, besides Todd being the last person to come into contact with the watch, he failed the lie detector test when he was asked whether he stole the watch.
The other fact involves the Human Resource Manager finding out additional information that makes Todd more suspicious. This involves the existence of ambiguous information in Todd’s file when comparing his prior information. There are several ethical issues involved in the case. Since Todd had been working for the store for approximately three years without previous misconduct in the store, it may not be appropriate to dismiss him as there could be other ways to punish him if found guilty.
However, the dilemma gets worse because his employment file shows conflicting information. This implies that the organization does not have any prior information on Todd that they may be deemed truthful. On the other hand, it would not be ethical to let down Mike’s effort that he had put in investigating and identifying the prime suspect. In addition, if Todd continues working in the store, he might be the first person to be suspected every time something wrong happens, which is not good.
This is because adequate evidence points to him as the culprit. Although Susan feels that it would not be fair to allow Todd to continue working if he stole the watch, she also feels that it is ethical to deem someone innocent unless proven otherwise. The main stakeholders in this case involve Todd, who is the prime suspect for the stolen watch and who has been the salesman in the jewelry store for three years. The other stakeholder is Mike, the individual who has been entrusted with the store’s security management for the previous ten years and the person responsible for tagging Todd with the theft of the watch.
The last stakeholder is Susan, the Human Resource Manager in the store for one year and the person with the decision on whether to dismiss Todd following the evidence collected by Mike. One of the possible alternatives that the Human Resource Manager can use in dismissing Todd is the existence of ambiguousness in Todd’s prior information regarding employment. This was reached because the lie detector test cannot be used to dismiss Todd although it proved that he lied when asked whether he stole the watch.
The other alternative is to wait until he is proven guilty before dismissing him although there is adequate substantial evidence that points to him as the thief. The first alternative of dismissing Todd on the grounds that he provided conflicting information in his employment file is ethical and unquestionable. This is because the company’s rules allowed for termination on such grounds. The other alternative of waiting until Todd is proven guilty is both ethical and required by the law.
If the law determines that there is enough data for dismissing Todd, then the decision would be placed on Susan to determine whether to dismiss him or not. The case has several practical constraints. One of the constraints include that were it not for Mike’s proposal for Susan to look for alternatives in Todd’s file, Susan may not have had significant evidence to pin Todd as the thief. Here, finding the required information in Todd’s file right after Mike suggested it is suspicious and one of the reasons why Susan is reluctant to dismiss Todd.
This is because Mike may have planted the evidence. To eliminate the uncertainty, additional investigation is necessary. The other constraint is that although there is enough circumstantial evidence, Susan is constrained with the idea that the video tapes did not provide any information regarding the real thief. The best action that should be taken in this regard is further investigation into the case. Since all information is circumstantial, it cannot be regarded as viable for dismissal. Therefore, before Todd is dismissed on theft claims, Susan should ensure that a third party has done comprehensive investigation on the case.
If justifiable and credible information is found against Todd, then he should be dismissed; if otherwise, then he should not be victimized. In conclusion, the investigation carried out by Mike points all the blame towards Todd. However, due to the circumstantial nature of the evidence, as a personal opinion, a comprehensive investigation should be done on this case to provide answers to some crucial questions such as why the video cameras could not provide usable information.