• Case Study from University of San Francisco: Anna Foo’s Dilemma (1999)

    By: University of San Francisco,

    This fictional case outlines a difficult ethical dilemma troubling a nonprofit manager of a foundation, who accidentally finds out information that would jeopardize the success of a project she is working to implement.

    Anna Foo sat at her desk at the Cobalt Foundation staring out the window. From her office eight floors above Jackson Square, she could see the shops and apartment buildings of Chinatown as well as the imposing high-rise towers of downtown’s business district. Today, that split view seemed a perfect metaphor for her job. Never had she felt so strong a conflict between loyalty to her community and loyalty to her job as a philanthropic professional. The night before, Anna had accidentally learned that they key manager in a project she was reviewing for the foundation was seriously ill. She chewed a pencil as she wondered: did she have an obligation to share this highly personal piece of information with her board?

    After outlining the facts, Anna wondered: what did she owe her board? Should she tell Bob Slade, the boss who had trusted her and chosen her to work with him? He so wanted to make a successful PRI! Was she risking the foundation’s assets by not sharing this information? And what about the Ford Foundation program officer, who was reviewing from RAA, largely on Anna’s recommendation? Was it even ethical to use information gotten from personal friends in a great review? How could she reconcile her role as a professional with her commitment to supporting her community?

    Anna Foo's Dilemma (1999) [CASE STUDY]
    Filed in: Case Studies, Education, Governance, Leadership
    Keywords: , , , ,
    Added on: January 7, 2016