Adam Williams should analyze with detail the case in which he is involved. At first glance there is a dilemma in this case because we have a conflict between different liabilities and responsibilities.

The code of ethics of every professional organization is based in at least one of the four principal ethical theories (Mill's utilitarism, Kant's formalism, Locke's right and Aristotle's virtue). Thus, every professional code of ethic establishes as paramount the social welfare, health and security; in addition, following the social paramount, we have the commitment with the employer, customers, colleges, supervised people, the profession, and finally the professional him/herself. Exhibit 1-5 shows the ethical guidelines issued by IMA where the principles include honesty, fairness, objectivity and responsibility. †

Adam Williams' dilemma is based in the responsibility contradiction between the public and the company that he should consider. And face on any dilemma, he should proceed with care and responsibility trying to fix the problem with the minor damage.

  1. Because the paramount liability with the public, Adam Williams should proceed trying to fix this issue. This is understood as an ethical responsibility to take any action related with the waste toxic. In case that Adam Williams does not take any action, this conduct could represent a breach of the duty of care (innocent or negligent) which could be found liable for litigation. As conclusion, he must take any action trying to fix the problem in the best way for any part.
  2. Exhibit 1-5 shows that the common professional behavior in a case such this one is summarized in three possible actions:
    1. Correct the problem: continue working in the company while trying to correct the problem discussing and proposing solutions to his boss/branch head/director/...
    2. Blow the whistle: continue working in the company while alerting external regulatory agencies that the company is acting dishonestly. This course of action is not recommended until all other previous option has been tried.
    3. Resign in protest: Adam William could resign in protest. This course of action may be necessary in serious cases where complicity may be suspected if he remains with the company. This action also represents many problems and it could be considered a wrongful dismissal.

So, the first alternative (seek the advice of his supervisor, the controller) analyzed by Adam William it is a good start but it could not be enough to fix the problem. Probably Adam William will need to consider something else, because he knows that his supervisor know the issue and didnít take any action.

The second option, anonymously release the information to the local newspaper, is a wrong variant of blow the whistle option described earlier. This is considered an unprofessional conduct and liable for punishment. In case he decides to blow the whistle should be with regulatory agencies, never to the local newspaper or similar.

The third option, discuss the situation with an outside member of the board Ö, is an option inside the internal discussion and it could be considered as a correct course of action.

  1. Adam William should consider talking with higher level people in the company, and then analyzing the three options described in the point 2.