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Case 1-3: Unintended Consequences

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Student #1 1.  Should Veronica not honor her commitment, what potential consequences are there for (a) Veronica, (b) the internship program, (c) the other employers, (d) the university, and (e) other students?  Explain.a) She would feel guilt for not committing, but I think she would also feel guilty to herself is she did not consider her other optionsb) There would be a temporary inconvenience in the lack of an intern, the program could always bring in another intern or a temp worker if they really needed to fill a position.c) There would be no consequences because they likely would not know. If they found out it may be looked down upon though. It may breed distrust in Veronicad) The Universities prestige could be at stake. This could cause the program to reconsider working with the school. I think this seems a little extreme though.e) I think this could create more opportunity for another student to be accepted into the program.2.  Using the Six Pillars of Character, analyze Veronica’s actions.  What do Veronica’s actions tell you about her character?  Do you think her advisor handled the situation appropriately?  Why?Although she seems to be wavering on many of the pillars, I don’t think she has ill intention. I don’t think there is anything wrong with realizing that you maybe on the wrong path. She did not know this until it was an inconvenient time either. Career paths are big choices after all. After considering this she has put a lot of thought into her decision as well and is determining if she should sacrifice her needs at the sake of her commitment. I think she can still be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring, and a good citizen despite the choice she makes. I think her advisor was a little extreme but was more concerned with the school rather than the student. 3.  Assume that Anywhere CPAs operates in an “employment-at-will” state, where generally it is lawful for an employer to fire an employee and this law generally is also applied to employer-rescinded job offers.  Should that affect Veronica’s decision to take a job with one of the other potential employers?  Why?At this point I don’t think it should make a difference because she should have been aware of this policy by this point. If it was bothering her and there was a safer offer I think it may push her to take a different job though.4.  If Veronica decided to accept one of the other job offers, and that employer subsequently learned about Veronica backing out of her previous commitment, how might that employer react?  Explain.It may tarnish Veronica’s image. I don’t believe they would fire her but they may look down on that. It could affect her career growth.

Student #2 Should Veronica not honor her commitment, what potential consequences are there for (a) Veronica, (b) the internship program, (c) the other employers, (d) the university, and (e) other students?  Explain.Veronica: While I agree with would have been unfair to Veronica not to consider other options, I also think the lack of transparency in her actions will break trust with Anywhere CPA and could negatively affect her relationship with the firm in the future. Internship program: You may have mixed up the timeline a bit. Veronica has completed the internship and accepted a full-time position with them. If she were not to fulfill this commitment, Anywhere CPA would need to start the recruitment process again, and she would have wasted the recruiters’ time and resources. Other employers: I agree that if Veronica accepts one of these positions, there is no actual harm to the other employers. However, if Veronica does go through with her commitment to Anywhere CPA, she would have wasted the other employers’ time and taken an interview from a student who needed or wanted it. University: I agree with you that the university’s reputation is potentially in danger. Anywhere CPA may no longer look to recruit at the university because they believe the school is not teaching the students to have an ethical code of conduct. Other students: Although I think you have the timeline mixed up, I still disagree. If Veronica does not honor her commitment, other students she could have interned with would have lost the opportunity to take her spot.Using the Six Pillars of Character, analyze Veronica’s actions.  What do Veronica’s actions tell you about her character?  Do you think her advisor handled the situation appropriately?  Why?I agree that this serves as a more significant learning experience for Veronica and does not display a lack of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, and citizenship. It allows Veronica to learn more about these aspects of her personality and career path. I disagree that the advisor was extreme. I think the advisor handled the situation well and used this as an opportunity to show Veronica that her actions have more consequences than just herself. As accountants, we are responsible for having a greater sense of moral ethics and understanding how one decision could affect many aspects of our clients’ lives. Assume that Anywhere CPAs operate in an “employment-at-will” state, where generally it is lawful for an employer to fire an employee and this law generally is also applied to employer-rescinded job offers.  Should that affect Veronica’s decision to take a job with one of the other potential employers?  Why?I agree with you because looking into other opportunities is not a firable offense and should not be treated so harshly. However, if the company had a reputation for firing for less, she should have reconsidered her decision and discussed it with her advisor before going to the career fair. They may have helped discuss why she might want to look into these other employers. If Veronica decided to accept one of the other job offers, and that employer subsequently learned about Veronica backing out of her previous commitment, how might that employer react?  Explain.I agree that backing out of the commitment could damage Veronica’s image. They may not trust her anymore and believe she lacks loyalty. In addition, This could negatively affect her relationships with her bosses and the recruiters, which, as you said, could jeopardize her career growth.

Student #3                                                                        Veronica must realize the potential consequences that exist for her.  In terms of her own risks, she is risking her reputation as a professional in the industry.  She can be labeled as an individual who does not see commitments through and unprofessionally accepted an offer without any real dedication.  She is also risking her own career in the long-term, as she may be turning down a great position with a fantastic company.  For the internship program, it risks the massive commitment of time and money put into training and preparation.  It also may inspire other interns to do the same and move on without accepting the full-time position.  The other employers may see that she broke a commitment to another company, making her difficult to hire.  The university may not get internship opportunities in the future for students.  They may also lose a partner in Anywhere CPAs.  Other students may lose employment opportunities and internship possibilities.  They may also follow her without considering their own risks.  These all stand as reasons why Veronica should honor her commitment, especially after accepting the position already.2.Veronica is absolutely losing trustworthiness.  Anywhere CPAs may view her as impossible to trust on commitments now.  Others in the industry may hear of her lack of commitment.  She is showing a lack of respect for the company that took a chance on her with the internship in the first place.  This was not required.  She is not following through with responsibilities to the company she accepted an offer to.  Her fairness is also reduced, as she is not giving Anywhere CPA fair notice nor fair treatment in her employment.  Her lack of care is also showing when you break a commitment like this.  I personally believe that the advisor did handle the situation appropriately but could have reworded it.  It is fair for the advisor to get Veronica to realize the potential risks, but it is unfair of the advisor to look down on her for even considering other options.  Veronica has the right to do so at her own risk.3.This should affect Veronica’s decisions to take another job with a potential employer.  If the company did not have the ability to fire her, then it creates a commitment to her that cannot be broken.  This is significantly more binding and reassuring for Veronica.  If it is not binding, then Veronica has the right to seek other employment opportunities in case her offer is rescinded before she is officially hired.  The risk goes both ways in this case if it is employment-at-will.4.If Veronica accepted one of the other job offers, Anywhere CPAs is likely to feel betrayed and lied to.  It is very hurtful for a company to train an employee for months in preparation for them to accept a position, only for that individual to take that information to another firm.  It is a betrayal of their commitment to Veronica and the number of resources and time given to her training.  This could cause the company to make Veronica’s work status publicly known and shared in the industry for her actions.

  
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