Sample Ethics Case Study on The Minority Enterprise

Jane Moore, the executive assistant of the CEO of The Minority Enterprise Melissa Adams, was facing a tough decision regarding a fraudulent report concerning the CEO. The Minority Enterprise by Fuller, B. K., Burgess-Wilkerson, B., & Spears, M. C. is described as an organization that provides various services to small-scale and minority entrepreneurs in the nation’s Northwestern region. Services provided by the organization include: financial, retail, accounting and management aid to enable the starting, continuation and growing of entrepreneurial businesses (Fuller, Kay, Burgess-Wilkerson and Spears 2015).

According to the author, it was a rather challenging day for Moore as Adams was not taking phone calls. Moore had to take messages on behalf of her boss and make excuses as well. She received two calls from a Fred Tyler who owned Raytech Dynamics attempting to get in touch with Melissa Adams. Fred’s issue was that he was not able to get any relevant help from the consulting staff after their first meeting. Fred’s attempts to directly speak to Adams were futile. Therefore, he decided to speak to his friend Jim Jones, a member of the organization’s board of directors and his close friend about the issue after which he left a message with Moore.

Later that afternoon as Moore was filing the ‘Monthly Client Services Report’, she took a look at the latest report and noticed some inconsistencies in the numbers. It was strange that the reports indicated that the amount of clients served exceeded the number of minority businesses in that region. To make matters worse, there were no statistics to prove the claim. Though the quantity of minority businesses remained unchanged since the last report compiled a year ago, the number of clients served monthly had increased significantly as per the most recent reports. The author goes on to say that reports were signed off by Melissa Adams and not Jack Warner, the C.F.O. of the organization. Moore was puzzled by these findings and begun to wonder what she should do about it.

According to the author, Moore was from a closely knit family and had five siblings. She was a college graduate and felt it was important to uphold the morals that her family stressed on such as honesty and integrity. After graduation, she was employed by a top-level accounting firm but felt out of place and left within a year. Her morals were not in-line with the firm’s culture. She decided to work for The Minority Enterprise to enable her to get some much needed experience before advancing into a position of leadership.

The author states that during the previous tenure of Anthony James as CEO, it was Moore’s duty to provide the monthly reports concerning client services and liability reports of the grants received. However, when Melissa Adams took over as the CEO, Jane was no longer responsible for the reports. Moore was very respectful to those in authority positions, loyal and soft spoken. It was during Adam’s tenure that the organization begun to consistently spiral downwards but Moore, her executive assistant, decided it was not her duty to point out her boss’ lack of character.

As per the author, until the previous year, The Minority Enterprises’ organizational structure was informal with a relatively flat participative approach whereby counsellors could directly approach the president and CEO. The organization culture cultivated an environment whereby it treasured meeting the needs of clients and enhancing the economic development of the businesses. It insisted on providing the finest counselling   and innovative enterprise initiatives. Although the organization had a high success rate, for most years it carried out its activities with a budget deficit and a low ratio of client to staff.

As stated by the author, the presiding CEO Melissa Adams was from the profit making sector and embodied the necessary skills and expertise to replace Anthony James and steer the organization forward. The author states that before selection of Adams, one of the board members went through an article on emotional intelligence titled “Leadership That Gets Results’ (Goleman 2000). The research article indicated a positive correlation between Emotional intelligence and successful results of leadership (Goleman 2006).During her first year as CEO, the organization underwent significant change. Along with her, several members of the management staff were brought in from the profit-making sector. The author states that Adams preferred a formal and hierarchical style of management as compared to the enterprise’s former managerial style. Gradually, issues of conflict, stress, skipping of work and turnover became very prevalent. Adams was regularly absent and would not inform Moore when she would not be present or whom she was visiting.

As time went by, complaints from clients concerning the deficiency of services and the response level increased alongside frequent fall outs between the enterprise’s management and consultants. As a result, the author believes that Moore became unsatisfied with her work situation and would even complain to her companions about it. One of her co-workers, Jill, had left the enterprise for another non-profit enterprise and seemed happier.

The author goes on to say that the issue regarding the fraudulent report still weighed heavily on her. As she weighed her options on what to do carefully, she realized that every option she thought of had consequences that may impact her career. Her boss was very aggressive and would put up a strong fight against any accusations brought up against her. On the other hand, if she decided to maintain her silence on the matter, the guilt she felt would kill her. Moore even thought of speaking to Anthony James about the issue but was worried he would overreact.  The fraudulent report had sparked the debate within her of whether she should stay or leave The Minority Enterprise.


Fuller, B. K., Burgess-Wilkerson, B., & Spears, M. C. (2015). The Minority Enterprise. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies21(2), 52-65.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard business review78(2), 4-17.

Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional intelligence. Bantam.