Business and Ethics Scenario – American Airlines

Business and Ethics Scenario – American Airlines


Read and carefully consider the scenario in the Assessment 4 Scenario document, linked in the Required Resources, before beginning on the deliverable for this assessment. Consider what criteria are important in assessing the situation, and ask yourself what criteria will help guide you to an appropriate and correct decision.


Your maintenance chief calls to tell you that a new mechanic on his team has told him that the airline he just left has some potential safety and ethical issues. Specifically, the employee is claiming that his prior airline is conducting “pencil maintenance”; that is, they are writing things in their maintenance logs that do not actually get done. This includes required inspections, repairs, and standard replacement of parts. The new mechanic said he feels as if the airline is “an accident waiting to happen” and that he quit his job at the prior airline because he did not like their dangerous and unethical practices.

Your maintenance chief is a staunch safety advocate, concerned for your customers, and he wants to know if you want him to do anything with this information. The airline in question has competed with your airline in the past, and likely you will share markets in the future. You do not know the CEO of the other airline well, but you do know the company has a reputation for being aggressive and competitive.

As leader of your airline and as an advocate for safety in airlines, you have a decision to make. Is this a situation in which you will disclose what you have learned, or will you keep it to yourself? Do you have a responsibility to share this insight, or might this be a case of a disgruntled former employee that has little bearing on current activities? How might your actions, or inaction, reflect upon your own airline? How could this impact the industry overall? Would such an industry impact harm your airline?

As you think about the employee’s report that his prior airline is doing pencil maintenance, consider the many actions you may take. You know that you can report the airline to the FAA, but this will not be anonymous—the other airline will know you made a report. Or you can report the airline to the Airline Association, but you cannot be sure that they will take any action, and your name could be given to the competitor. You could call the CEO of the other airline and tell him or her the situation; this would be a courteous thing to do. Or you could be anonymous and drop a tip to the local investigative reporter at a newspaper. On the other hand, you could just do nothing, deciding that this is either none of your business or likely to be the ranting of a disgruntled employee.

After reading and considering the Scenario above, complete the following:

  1. Complete a 4–5-page discussion of the problem detailed in the scenario, including the following:
    • Analyze the business considerations presented by the situation.
    • Compare two radically different approaches to addressing the situation.
    • Choose your preferred course of action and evaluate its risks and upsides. Include a discussion of the ethical considerations and how you reconciled them.
    • Discuss what aspects of your decision you would communicate and with whom they would be shared.
  2. Write a 1–2-page professional correspondence to one of the stakeholders you have identified, sharing relevant aspects of your decision.

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Length: 5–7 typed, double-spaced pages (4–5 pages for the analysis and 1–2 pages for the professional correspondence to a stakeholder).
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.

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