Case Study of the Week: Credit Card Ethics in the Workplace

October 4, 2021

Business Ethics

You are to assume the roles of the human resources director and the operations director at Braxton Productions, a company that provides event production services for businesses and organizations. The president of the company has asked you to determine if an employee’s actions are ethical, how to respond to the actions, and how to communicate any changes in processes to staff.

Employees at Braxton Productions travel often. Directors of each department have company credit cards. Employees can choose to book airline tickets themselves and have Braxton Productions reimburse the cost or employees can choose to have their director purchase airline tickets on the company credit card.

The president was told in confidence that a director has been purchasing their entire department’s airline tickets on a personal credit card, not giving the employee a choice. The person that communicated this information to the president feels it is unethical because the director receives point rewards from the personal credit card that will be used for personal gain, rather than giving individual employees a choice.

The president has asked you to analyze the situation and determine the following:

  • If the director’s actions are ethical
  • Reasons for ethical dilemma
  • How to respond to the person that communicated the information to the president
  • How to respond to the accused director
  • A new air travel expense policy
  • Methods to communicate new travel expense policy to staff


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

As DECA’s competitive events specialist, Randi primarily authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also serves as DECA’s liaison for the Virtual Business Challenge and Stock Market Game. Randi assists with the recruitment of judges for both the high school and collegiate International Career Development Conferences. Randi has worked for DECA since 1998.

Discussion Questions

  • 1
    Do you think the director's actions are ethical? Why or why not?
  • 2
    What steps would you take to respond to the person that communicated the information?
  • 3
    What steps would you take to respond to person that communicated the accused director?
  • 4
    What should be done to prevent a similar situation in the future?

Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Business Management + Administration

Instructional Area(s):

Emotional Intelligence

Performance Indicators:

Describe the nature of ethics
Explain reasons for ethical dilemmas
Recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas
Explain the nature of effective communications