The Quality Case:
An Ethical Dilemma
1. To teach an ethical decision-making model for teams.
2. To explore the factors involved in resolving an ethical dilemma.
Works best with team building or team training groups of 4 to 12.
90 minutes
Round or rectangular tables and chairs.
A copy of The Quality Case and Factors in Team Ethics for each
1. Explain the purpose of the exercise. Brainstorm ethical issues for
teams. Discuss the list.
2. Distribute Factors in Team Ethics. Review and explain each
factor. Ask the participants for examples that illustrate each factor
(e.g., “What laws and regulations affect our work?”).
3. Distribute The Quality Case. Ask the team to analyze the case
and decide what they would do. The team should use the factors
as a guide in analyzing the case.
4. The team presents its analysis and decision. Group discussion
follows with the facilitator probing for reasons and other
5. The session concludes with a discussion of the implications for
team effectiveness that emerge from the activity.
1. Revise the case or create a new case that more closely relates to
the work of the team.
2. The team analyzes the case prior to the presentation of the
Factors handout. Review the Factors after the team presents its
solution. Discuss the case again in light of the factors.
50 Activities for Team Building
The Quality Case
Your team is responsible for the development of a new system. The team has
contracted with a user group for a specific set of requirements and delivery date.
At a team meeting just prior to the delivery date, several team members argue that the
system is not up to their usual standards of quality. They do not want to deploy the
system because it still has some problems. Other team members want to deliver the
system on the due date in order to meet the commitment. They say that while it still has
some problems, it does meet the user’s requirements. The others agree that the system
does, in fact, meet the requirements but they say the team should not allow work of
questionable quality to “go public.”
What is the dilemma?
Who are the stakeholders?
What factors should the team consider in making its decision?
What should the team do?
50 Activities for Team Building
Factors in Team Ethics
1. Laws, regulations, possible legal liability.
2. Professional standards and ethical codes of conduct.
3. Corporate policies and procedures.
4. Corporate culture and organizational norms.
5. Personal and team values.

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