29 Jun 2019



Assignment 2: Case Study (25%)

You are required to analyse a case study and answer the questions given with regards to human resource management issues. Use double space and 12-point of Times New Roman font. This assignment is an individual task. The case is in Appendix 1 and you are required to answer the following questions:

a)      Based on the case, is Mariam behaving ethically? Explain.
(7 marks)

b)      How would you describe Mariam’s style in handling the staff grievances. Discuss some important factors that could help shape her ethical behavior at work.
        (10 marks)

c)      If you are Bakar, the advisor, what would you do to help the organisation?
(8 marks)


a)      Based on the case, is Mariam behaving ethically? Explain.
Ethics refers to “the principle of conduct governing an individual or a group; specifically, the standards you use to decide what your conduct should be”. (Manuel 1992)

Making ethical decisions always requires normative judgments. A normative judgment means that something is good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse.

In this case, Mary is clearly not ethical in the performance of his duties in the office. She is also often seen that there is abuse of power for personal gain. She also does not move in line with the company in which he himself was not concerned with the goals and vision of the company Excel Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd.

She was also seen with a nonchalant manage the company without taking into account the effect that the company will face. He is often seen as not serious in making decisions and sometimes hand over decision making to his subordinates who had no responsibility for the task.

Among other things, she is also seen ever leave important tasks to his subordinates on the ground wishing to attend her birthday party abroad. This is totally irresponsible seen as the task is very important and critical to the company at that time.

In my observation, it’s proven that Mariam is behaving unethical in performing her official duties as Chief Executive Officer at Excel Insurance Broker Sdn Bhd.

d)     How would you describe Mariam’s style in handling the staff grievances. Discuss some important factors that could help shape her ethical behavior at work.

She is seen with a nonchalant and irresponsible in handling the staff grievances. Often his subordinates complain and are unhappy with the direction given by him. She seemed to want to wash her hands and wants to be given this responsibility to others.

She did not seem tough on subordinates and at the same time giving a bad example to other employees. As example, a junior requested for an annual leave of two days during one of the peak periods where clients were due for their renewals. She was reluctant to allow and the staff answered,

“If you don’t allow, it’s alright...” in a strong voice.

At the end, she gave in. To make matter worst she herself took a week’s leave during the same period to attend to a friend’s birthday party in Bangkok. She left the entire decision making to the senior manager and to the advisor.

As a CEO, Mariam should behave ethically and efficient in managing office affair while maintaining the rigor that is supposed to control the situation.

Mariam is supposed to be role models to her subordinates. And to become one, she must have behave ethically. Among the factors that could polish Mariam ethical behavior is;

                                i.            Behavior
All companies specify what is acceptable behavior, and what is not, when hiring an employee. Many even summarize expected conduct in job descriptions or during the interview process. Behavior guidelines typically address topics, such as harassment, work attire and language. Workers who don’t follow codes of conduct may receive written and verbal warnings, and ultimately be fired.

                              ii.            Integrity
A key component to workplace ethics and behavior is integrity, or being honest and doing the right thing at all times. For example, health care employees who work with mentally or physically challenged patients must possess a high degree of integrity, as those who manage and work primarily with money. Workers with integrity also avoid gossip and sneakiness while on the job.

                            iii.            Accountability
Taking responsibility for your actions is another major factor when it comes to workplace ethics and behavior. That means showing up on scheduled workdays, as well as arriving on time and putting in an honest effort while on the job. Workers who exhibit accountability are honest when things go wrong, then work toward a resolution while remaining professional all the while.

                            iv.            Teamwork
A vital aspect of the workplace is working well with others. That includes everyone from peers to supervisors to customers. While not all employees will always like each other, they do need to set aside their personal or even work-related differences to reach a larger goal. In many instances, those who are not considered “team players” can face demotion or even termination. On the other hand, those who work well with others often can advance on that aspect alone, with teamwork sometimes even outweighing performance.

                              v.            Commitment
Ethical and behavioral guidelines in the workplace often place a high amount of importance on dedication. Although possessing the necessary skills is essential, a strong work ethic and positive attitude toward the job can carry you a long way. Plus, dedication is often viewed in the business world as “contagious,” meaning employees who give a strong effort can often inspire their co-workers to do the same.

e)      If you are Bakar, the advisor, what would you do to help the organization?
One should know that the positions held by Bakar is to monitor and advise the board of directors on the progress of company's performance and office affairs.

And it is the responsibility of Bakar to inform the truth to the board of directors of Excel Insurance Brokers Limited. Bakar should also provide a full report of Mariam appraisal to convince the real thing that is happening.

After obtaining approval from the board of directors, Bakar as Corporate Business Advisor may recommend that the contract for Mariam is not going to be renew on the grounds of her performance in the company.

The business world operates not on compassion. They are fully operational profit-oriented. The presence of Mary in the Excel Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd is seen as a liability that should be avoided before it becomes severe. Excel Insurance Brokers require a CEO is more sensitive to the goals of the company and ethically in carrying out daily tasks.

Mariam termination is one that needs to be done to save Excel Insurance Broker from devastating consequences.

However, as a Corporate Business Advisor himself Bakar can rely on these recommendation on terminating Mariam’s employment in Excel Insurance Broker Sdn. Bhd;

a.       Give Mariam information about the business problems and provide some sense that layoffs may be necessary as soon as you think they may be necessary.

b.      Speak with a qualified employment law attorney with experience in layoffs.

c.       Non-discriminatory practices are a must in layoffs, Mariam’s lay off must be painstakingly determined.

d.      Do layoffs as soon as the business need makes them necessary. Layoffs are not a time to punt; preparation will make layoffs less painful for all.


Velasquez, M. G. (1982). Business ethics: concepts and cases. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

7 Tips for Compassionate Layoffs. (n.d.). About.com Human Resources. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://humanresources.about.com/od/layoffs-downsizing-strategies/qt/7-tips-for-compassionate-layoffs.htm

Hatcher, T. G. (20072002). Ethics and HRD: a new approach to leading responsible organizations. Jaipur, India: Rawat Publications.

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