Stephanie Simon knew Environmental Manager Adam Baines would not be
pleased with her report on the chemical spill. The data clearly indicated that the spill
was large enough that regulations required it to be reported to the state. Stephanie
perceived Adam to be someone who thinks industry is over-regulated, especially in the
environmental area. At the same time, he prided himself as a major player in maintaining
XYZ's public reputation as an environmental leader in the chemical industry. "We do a
terrific job," he often said. "And we don't need a bunch of hard to read,
difficult to interpret, easily misunderstood state regulations to do it. We got along just
fine before the regulators ran wild, and we're doing fine now."
When Stephanie presented her report to Adam, he lost his temper.
"This is ridiculous! We're not going to send anything like this to the state. A few
gallons over the limit isn't worth the time it's going to take to fill out those damned
forms. I can't believe you'd submit a report like this. Stephanie, go back to your desk
and rework those numbers until it comes out right. I don't want to see any more garbage
What should Stephanie do?
Stephanie refused to rework the report. Instead she went back to her
desk, signed the report, wrote a memo about her conversation with Adam, and then returned
to Adam's office. She handed him the report and said, "You don't want to see any more
garbage like this? Neither do I. Here's my original report--signed, sealed, and delivered.
I've had it here. I'm not fudging data for anyone." As she turned to leave, she
added, "By the way, Adam, before you get any ideas about making it hard for me to get
another job, I have a nice little memo about our earlier conversation. I won't hesitate to
send it right upstairs at the slightest provocation."
Discuss Stephanie's way of handling this problem.
Bruce Bennett was pleased to have the job vacated by Stephanie Simon.
It was an advancement in both responsibility and pay. He knew about the circumstances of
Stephanie's angry departure. All went well for the first several months. Then there was
another spill. Bruce's preliminary calculations indicated that the spill exceeded the
specified limit requiring a report to the state. He also knew how Adam would react to the
Bruce had worked hard to get his present position, and he looked
forward to "moving up the ladder" at XYZ. He certainly did not want to go job
hunting at this time in his career. He thought, "These numbers are so close to
falling below the limit that a little 'rounding off' here or there might save us all a lot
What should Bruce do?