During the spring, I worked in the billing department of a large organization as a student worker. All of the secretaries who worked in the billing department were close and would talk to each other about almost anything. One of the topics we enjoyed talking about the most was the office manager of the billing department and how much we would like to find another job to get away from her, because we did not like working with her. While I was working in the department, I became very close friends with the senior secretary, who worked with me in the front office. During the same spring, my friend was offered a very prestigious job at the company. She told a few of us about having applied for the job, but she did not want us to let the office manager know that she was applying for it in case she did not get it. I was her friend, so I was not going to say anything about the situation. After a few weeks of waiting to find out if she got the job or not, she was offered the job and took it immediately. After she knew she had the new job, she told the office manager that she had been offered another job and was giving her two weeks’ notice. All was well until the office manager came up to me one day and asked me if I had known anything about the secretary planning to leave. I was not sure what to say. I did not want to lie to the office manager, but I also did not want to break a promise I made to a good friend. What was I to do?
1. Is this ethical dilemma at the personal level or the organizational level?
2. What ethical principles are at stake in this situation? Rights? Justice? Caring? Others?
3. What should the person who faces this ethical situation do?