This series features 13 articles from Brad Agle, Aaron Miller and Bill O’Rourke, co-authors of The Business Ethics
Field Guide. Each article focuses on a common work dilemma, while providing real life examples and insightful
solutions. For more information, please refer to the cover story in the November/December 2018 issue.
Conflicts of interest are the most frequently encountered dilemma in the business world. The response often
stated is, “That's just how business is done." While that might be true, it doesn't make it right. Only people
with no interests are exempt from conflicts of interest, so it’s important to realize that conflicts are inevitable.
Additionally, it’s also important to recognize when you have a conflict, then deal with it properly and swiftly.
What Qualifies as a Conflict of Interest?
Sometimes, even intelligent people don’t recognize a conflict. For example, the Corporate Medical Director
named Dan, an MD, reported to me. He returned from his honeymoon and told me about two physicians that
came to his wedding and each physician brought him a gift of $2,000. These doctors were friends of Dan, but
they were also contracted medical consultants to our company, receiving approximately $85,000 each per year.
BY BRAD YARBROUGH
Challenge 4: Conflict of Interest
THE BUSINESS ETHICS