Your response will assist with a graduate research project on team ethics. What is the choice you most often make in the following situation and why?
A team member is loafing on a group assignment. Do you accept the loafer’s actions and carry more of the workload? Or, do you reject the loafer’s actions and insist on a more equitable distribution of work?
Melissa, your query reminds me of the attitudes of some team members I worked with during my MBA studies years ago. Yes, I accepted the loafers’ actions and bore their share of workload. Face with similar circumstances today, I will act the same.
Was it right for me to assume the loafers’ actions? Yes; from a teleological ethicist perspective—that is, it is the maximum good that stems from one’s actions that matters, not the actions per se. The Professor graded the product of a team effort and not the respective contributions of team members. Because high-grade quality meant so much to me and other hardworking members, we were not going to allow the actions of the loafers affect the quality of our academic results and ultimately professional future.
Eventually, the loafers earned good grades from our hard-work. Wouldn’t that be academic cheating by the loafers? Technically, yes! Does that make me a facilitator to academic cheating? Technically, yes!
Could I have taken a different course of action? If so which? Reporting the loafers to the Professor?