Denise Foley works for a regional non-profit hospital, and has recently been promoted to Senior Vice President and COO by the new CEO. The CEO believes that the hospital is up to face financial struggles in the future, and was advised by an outside consultant to sell the hospital to a for-profit institution. The CEO is on board with this suggestion, and is seeking Foley’s support; however, Foley doesn’t believe it is the right decision to be made, and cannot decide whether or not to speak up.
Denise Foley: The protagonist feels a sense of commitment to the hospital in which she works, due to the fact that it has presented her with career opportunities, offered her resources, and allowed for the completion of her MBA. Foley was promoted to Senior Vice President and COO from Chief of Nursing by the hospital’s new CEO only a month and a half after his assumed leadership; because of the aforementioned factors responsible for her sense of loyalty to the hospital, Foley found herself between a rock and a hard place when it was brought to her attention that a consultant had advised the CEO to sell the hospital as a means of solving its financial issues.
Foley, who is new to the position, has several things at stake in this situation. First and foremost, she truly believes that selling would not be in the best interest to the hospital or the community that it is in; she would be going against her values, as the silence in failing to speak up could be perceived as support in the decision. She wants to agree with him, but understands that it is not the right thing to do. With this, Foley also understands that the CEO is counting on her support, as he made a big commitment when he promoted her to COO and Senior VP. If it is not provided, conflicts with him may arise, putting her job position at stake. By refusing to support his decision, the CEO may perceive Foley to be unfit for her new position or to have little to no concern for her career. From a personal standpoint, Foley’s personal life is at risk – if the hospital is, in fact, sold, there is a chance that she would have to relocate jobs, which would take a toll on her family. There is no guarantee as to how quickly she will be able to find a new job, which may bring upon financial troubles. Foley also does not want to hinder the relationship with her CEO, who she values very much. She is experiencing mental distress with her decision of whether or not to give voice to her values – she believes that by accepting the new positions that she did, people are counting on her to provide beneficial insight relative to the hospital. She also is uncertain as to whether or not the data provided to the CEO by the consultant is accurate and correct.
CEO: As a new executive, he was told by a consultant that the financial status of the hospital is on the brink. With this, it was recommended to him that he sell the hospital to a for-profit organization, a common action that many hospitals in similar situations were taking in order to solve their financial issues. The CEO agrees that this is the right thing to do, even though he does not have any sources of information to support the data presented by the consultant; his confidence in the hospital’s CFO is fairly low, so he intentionally left him out of the financial analysis. As CEO, he is required to solve his hospital’s financial troubles. If he moves forward with the sale of the hospital, he may benefit from the monetary advantages if there is a profit to be made. His reputation is also at risk, though, because he does not want to be known for making such a rash decision before gathering a substantial amount of information first.
Consultant: The consultant’s job is to provide expert advice where needed. It was feared by Foley that he did not provide accurate data to the CEO, which could strongly influence his decision on whether or not to sell the hospital to a for-profit…