By Denise Bortree
Editor’s note: This column originally appeared on Penn State News through a partnership between the Rock Ethics Institute and Penn State Today. You are invited to ask a question by filling out and submitting this form. An archive of the columns can be found on the Rock Ethics Institute website.
Question: My boss asked me to create a marketing campaign for a new client, but the client’s environmental record is poor. Sustainability and protecting the environment is something that I am extremely passionate about. I’m worried that saying “no” to the assignment will upset my boss. Should I go against my morals and complete the assignment since it’s my job or should I stick with my instincts and say no?
The ethicist responds: The decision to turn down a work assignment can generate anxiety for an employee, especially for a young person or someone who is new to a company. On one hand, you may fear that refusing the assignment will limit your future promotions or other opportunities with the company. Your fears have some grounding. Bosses sometimes see this kind of decision as a lack of loyalty to the company or an unwillingness to be flexible to meet the needs of the company. Continue reading Focus on research: Can I turn down a work assignment that goes against my morals?