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Business Law Chapter 26 Homework On one hand, bank robbery is a low percentage game.

Page Count
4 pages
Word Count
893 words
Book Title
Applied Business Ethics: A Skills-Based Approach 1st Edition
Authors
Dean Bredeson
MODULE 26: Don't be a Hero Policies
Core Module Issues:
Are businesses, and especially retailers, wise to have policies that
prohibit employees from intervening to stop shoplifting and other kinds
of crime?
If so, is it appropriate to fire a worker who violates the policy and
actually prevents a crime from occurring?
Module Teaching Notes
On one hand, bank robbery is a low percentage game. Police catch a large percentage of such criminals.
But, bank robbers do usually “get out the door” with the loot. That is because most banks have strict
policies that prohibit bank employees from doing anything to stop an attempted robbery. Hand over the
money, let the robber go, let the police review the security tapes and track down the bad guy.
And it isn't just banks that have “don't be a hero policies”. It has become common for all kinds of retailers to
follow banks' lead. Grocery stores, electronics stores, clothing retailers, and many other kinds of
businesses have warned their employees to avoid involvement.
But as a society, don't we value standing up to crime? We seem to be very pleased with news reports of
citizens who stop shoplifters and other kinds of bad guys. Videos of such things do quite well on You Tube.
Crime is expensive. Everything costs at least a bit more because of it. Wouldn't we be better off if MORE
people were brave and did what they reasonably could to prevent crime?
Maybe not. A confrontation can turn a non-violent situation into a violent one. A single lawsuit, injury, or
lost life can certainly far outweigh any benefit to stopping a crime.
Companies are well within their rights if they choose to fire a worker who violates a don't be a hero policy
and tries to stop a crime. But should they? Do they risk a public backlash?
Of all modules in the book, this one (at least in my classes) is in the top 5 in terms of scenarios that
generate divided and strong opinions. I have fun teaching it, and I hope you do as well.
In the scenario, two employees are on the hot seat. The first tried to stop a purse snatcher, and was
unsuccessful the bad guy got away.
The second successfully foiled an iPad thief.
It is interesting to see whether the success of the employee in stopping the crime weighs in to the students'
perception of how the incident should be handled.
Again, expect divided opinions and a discussion that does not result in anything like a consensus, but which
is lively and interesting.
Discussion Points for Scenario Questions
1. Rate the degree to which you find “don't be a hero” policies sensible in the following types of
businesses.
Type of Business Completely Reasonable --------- Completely Unreasonable
Bank 1 ----- 2 ----- 3 ----- 4 ----- 5 ------ 6 ------ 7
Liquor Store 1 ----- 2 ----- 3 ----- 4 ----- 5 ------ 6 ------ 7
Grocery Store 1 ----- 2 ----- 3 ----- 4 ----- 5 ------ 6 ------ 7
A. WHICH IS MOST SENSIBLE? WHY?
B. WHICH IS LEAST SENSIBLE? WHY?
2. Do you agree with this statement made by some critics of “don't be a hero” policies: “If
robbers and shoplifters expected to be confronted by clerks, and perhaps by armed clerks, then
there would be far fewer robbers and shoplifters”?
A. AGREE DOES THAT THEN MEAN THAT THE POLICIES ARE BAD?
B. DISAGREE DO SHOPLIFTERS NOT CARE? SOME OTHER REASON?
3. Should Hank be fired, disciplined without being fired, or commended? Should Blake be
fired, disciplined without being fired, or commended?
A. HANK DOES THE FACT THAT HE DID NOT STOP THE BAD GUY
IMPACT YOUR FEELINGS?
4. If you had been shopping at the store when the incidents presented in the scenario unfolded,
would you have wanted the clerks to act as they did, or would you have preferred for them to do
nothing?
A. TRY TO STOP THE CRIME WHY?
5. Assume that Hank and Blake are fired. If you saw a news report of the incidents and the
firings, would you be angry at the store in either case? If you were a regular customer, would you
be less likely to shop there in the future?
A. NO CHANGE WHY?
B. LESS LIKELY TO SHOP THERE? WHY? HAS THIS EVER ACTUALLY
HAPPENED?

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