Test or release: The verdict

Read the CISI's verdict on the Grey Matters ethical dilemma that appears in the September 2022 edition of The Review
by Amrita Bhogal, CISI professional standards and ethics manager

Read the dilemma

This Grey Matter, published in the September 2022 edition of The Review magazine, explores the pressures of a manager, Meena, dealing with a new starter, Hiromi, who is not performing to par and has recently disclosed that he may have ADHD.

After speaking with an external HR adviser, Meena offers Hiromi a formal assessment to better understand his needs, but he declines and the pressure on her to deliver is increasing. 

This dilemma was seen at the 2022 Annual Integrity Event, attended by around 1,200 in total (over 1,000 virtually and 160 in person) and the results are as follows:

  1. Wait to find out if she gets the new job and then quit her current one and not worry about Hiromi. The culture of the company is not great, her line manager hasn’t been very helpful, so maybe she should be the one to pick up the pieces. (4%)
  2. Ask Hiromi for evidence of ADHD or insist that he is formally assessed and speak with HR again about what this could mean for his employment. She might have to keep him and recruit another person to support with the role or find him another role internally. This will upset her line manager and might affect her perception of her performance. (27%)
  3. Raise the issue with a senior stakeholder at her organisation in the hope that they will provide better guidance than her line manager. She doesn’t want to be seen as a weak leader, but her line manager was not helpful and her advice conflicts with HR’s recommendations. (67%)
  4. Take matters in her own hands and be as impartial as possible, not letting Hiromi’s potential ADHD get in the way of the company’s performance. This means transferring him to another department or terminating his employment, but this might have a detrimental impact on Hiromi’s mental health. (2%)

Responses received: 601

The CISI verdict

The dilemma incorporates many themes from the CISI Code of Conduct, including professional development, awareness of capabilities, respecting others and the environment and speaking up and listening up.

It also raises several concerns about Dynamic Business: poor company culture, poor internal processes and insufficient management training.

Better internal processes may have made it easier for Meena to speak to her manager about the difficulties she was facing in her team and to receive the advice and support that would help her through the situation. And better managerial training would have helped Meena to speak with Hiromi and raise concerns about the quality of his work.

Our recommended solution is option 3: receiving a second opinion and getting better guidance on next steps would be helpful to Meena as she seems conflicted with the advice already received.

Should you wish to suggest a dilemma or topic to be featured in a future Grey Matter, please email ethics@cisi.org

This verdict is published in the March 2023 edition of The Review.
Should you wish to suggest a dilemma or topic to be featured in a future Grey Matter, please contact us at ethics@cisi.org

Published: 04 Apr 2023
  • Training, Competence and Culture
  • Integrity & Ethics
  • Annual Integrity Event 2022
  • verdict
  • grey matters ethical dilemma
  • Code of Conduct

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