(Revised April 2005)
Necessary Evils: A Diagnostic Exercise
Central to the work of leaders and professionals are tasks that entail harming one party to deliver benefits or advance valued and worthy goals. Sometimes a person must, as part of his or her job, perform an act that causes emotional, material, or physical harm to another human being in the service of achieving a greater good or purpose. Examples in management include firing people, laying people off, delivering bad news, delivering negative performance feedback, and, in medicine, performing a painful procedure. Through a series of introspective questions, punctuated by small group discussions and concluding with a large group discussion of insights, students and practicing professionals are better equipped to manage the challenges of necessary evils.
Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions;
Problems and Challenges;