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Accident at Vidyalaya School – an ethical dilemma

Jayadeva Prasad Moleyar (Department of Management Studies, Mangalore Institute of Technology and Engineering , Moodabidre, India)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 19 October 2019

Abstract

Learning outcomes

This paper aims to sensitize learners to some of the ethical and public relation issues involved in decision-making with specific reference to the educational field.

Case overview/synopsis

This case brings out a dilemma faced by the school management of Vidyalaya School, Karnataka, India in responding to a notice issued by the State Government to pay a huge compensation and to re-absorb a teacher who was rendered physically challenged owing to an accident within the school premises. The case is set in the milieu of a self-financed, private education industry during the period 2013-2018. This is a case in “Strategy formulation” and “Ethical dilemma” involved in the field of education in India. A teacher was permanently injured and confined to a wheelchair in an attempt to rescue a child attempting to jump off the school building and end her life for having obtained low marks in a test paper. While the school management was initially sympathetic and paid her medical bills and full salary purely on humanitarian grounds, they discontinued this support-line after about two years. The teacher filed a complaint with the Disability Commission, a grievance redressal body of the Government of Karnataka, India. She demanded re-absorption into the job, payment of salary arrears and reimbursement of all the subsequent medical bills incurred abroad totaling Rs 15.5 million, which is unaffordable for a school of that size. The management is faced with a situation where they cannot accept such a huge financial liability as well as accept a wheelchair-bound teacher who would not be able to discharge her duties. The school was briefed by legal experts that there exists no law that specifies either compensation or re-absorption into the job in a situation like this. At the same time, to fight the case purely on legal grounds and deny her a decent livelihood would impact the image of the school as being inhuman to a lady who had actually tried to help the school in the name of humanity. The management is caught in a dilemma on the course of action they must take – to fight the case legally or to accept the demand on humanitarian grounds.

Complexity academic level

This paper is suitable for Undergraduate or Graduate students of Business Management.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.

Citation

Moleyar, J.P. (2019), "Accident at Vidyalaya School – an ethical dilemma", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 9 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-05-2019-0103

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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