After reading the book, I decided to write my position paper on the content of Chapter3: The Ethical Gymnast. I can identify with several of the scenarios that Mazzeo describes in this chapter. During the past 14 years at Sears, I have observed several very similar situations in my workplace.
Webster defines rationalization in this manner as to devise superficial, or plausible, explanations or excuses for one's acts, beliefs, or desires, usually without being aware that these are not the real motives. This chapter describes several instances of how to rationalize a given situation. The first example describes a situation of dating between a supervisor and their subordinate. There is no way to rationalize this type of behavior. Common sense will dictate all of the adverse actions that could happen in this situation. I think that stupidity is an appropriate word to describe this example.
The second example describes a situation in which a sales representative negotiates a "very good" rate on renting a houseboat for a purchasing agent that he routinely deals with.
Mazzeo writes that this event constitutes a conflict of interest. I think the "ethical" part of this example would depend on the individual people that were involved. There are some sales people that really would not expect the purchasing agent to repay this "favor". However, you do have to consider events that may happen down the road. An example of this event might be that the purchasing agent must buy a large shipment of lumber. He has narrowed it down to 2 suppliers. One happens to be the sales person who got him the boat rental. If the buyer picks that particular sales person and a third party finds out about the whole situation, including the boat rental, it will look like the purchasing agent made...