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Read the following scenario and follow the instructions (choose two of the options that best fit what you think the focal individual, Abrams, should do). Write your rationale for the decisions you’ve made and the consequences for the people involved and the likelihood that they will meet the deadline because of your decisions. Consider the scenario in terms of the Abilene paradox, as well as any decision biases you may have relied upon to make your decisions. Moss is a researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Abrams, a well-known researcher in the field of economics. Moss is trying to develop a model to predict performance of stocks in the technology sector, but she is having difficulty analyzing and selecting trends to include in the model. She enlists the help of Reynolds, another experiences researcher working on a similar topic. With Reynolds’s help, Moss eventually analyzes and identifies some key trends working them into a testable model. She also discusses some of her other research ideas with Reynolds. Two weeks later, Moss comes across a grant proposal developed by Reynolds and Abrams. She sees that it includes ideas very similar to those she discussed with Reynolds. She takes the matter to Abrams, who declines to get involved, saying that the two researchers should work it out on their own. Reynolds admits to Abrams that he used slightly modified versions of Moss’s ideas, an admission that she had purposefully omitted the intellectual contributions of Moss, a form of plagiarism. Abrams is upset with this, but Reynolds is a key person on the proposal team and the grant application deadline is soon. The grant is for a substantial amount and to be eligible for it the proposal must be submitted prior to the deadline, and receiving the grant is considered prestigious in the field. What should Abrams do? Choose two of the following: Fire Reynolds from the lab on the grounds of academic misconduct Leave Reynolds as first author on the proposal since he wrote up the ideas Remove Reynolds from the proposal team, and offer Moss the position if she allows her ideas to be used Ask Moss to join the grant team, placing her as third author on the proposal if she allows her ideas to be used Acknowledge Moss in the grant proposal because the ideas were hers originally Apologize to Moss and indicate that the proposal must go out as is to meet the deadline Remove Moss’s ideas from the proposal and try to rework it before the deadline The scenario has been adapted from the research of Michael Mumford and colleagues. Mumford, M.D., Waples, E.P., Antes, A.L., Brown, R.P., Connelly, S., Murphy, S.T., and Devenport, L.D. (2010). Creativity and ethics: The relationship of creativity and ethical problem-solving. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1): 74-89.

A deeper analysis of the case scenario clearly shows that Abrams has got a huge decision to make to steady the ship. In particular, Abrams must consider options A and C. On the one hand, Abrams should embrace option A. In this case, Abrams ought to fire Reynolds. The Abilene paradox occurs whenever individuals ignore groupthink thereby opting to consciously act against their wishes or knowledge (Smiley, 1982). Reynolds consciously made a decision to commit plagiarism when he took Moss’s ideas and documented them to make the grant proposal. Reynolds violated the professional code when he engaged in academic misconduct. Therefore, Abrams would be the sole author of the grant proposal. 

Having fired Reynolds, Abrams should now focus on ensuring that the grant proposal is submitted within the deadline. Therefore, he cannot afford to have a disagreement with Moss too. According to the Abilene paradox, organizations and individuals compromise their objectives by acting in contradiction to their wishes. Therefore, Abrams has a duty to act accordingly to ensure that the predetermined objective of submitting a quality and ethical grant proposal is achieved. With this understanding, Abrams needs to embrace option C. Abrams should now request Moss to assume the position formerly held by Reynolds in the proposal team. By doing so, Abrams would acquire a legal right to use the intellectual contributions that were originally owned by Moss. Bringing Moss onboard would ensure that no outsider has a legal basis for claiming acknowledgment given that Reynolds’ unethical behavior disqualifies him forfeited his right through unethical behavior. 



Smiley, C. W. (1982). Managing Agreement: The Abilene Paradox. Community Development Journal, 17(1), 54–59.

by EssayRoyal, Dec. 7, 2019, 5:04 p.m.

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