Better Boston Beans Case Study
Six Pillars of Character and Stages of Moral Development
Better Boston Beans is a coffee shop located in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace near the waterfront and Government Center in Boston. The coffee shop specializes in exotic blends of coffee including Sumatra Dark Roast Black, India Mysore ‘Gold Nuggets’, and Guatemala Antigua. It also serves blended coffees including Reggae Blend, Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend, and Marrakesh Blend. For those with more pedestrian tastes, the shop serves French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Hawaiian Macadamia Nut. The coffee of the day varies, but the most popular is Colombia Supremo.
The coffee shop also serves a variety of cold-blended coffees. Cindie Rosen has worked for Better Boston Beans for six months. She took the job right out of college because she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to go to graduate school before beginning a career in financial services. Cindie hoped that by taking a year off before starting her career or going on to graduate school, she would experience â??the real worldâ? and find out firsthand what it is like to work a 40-hour week. She did not have a full-time job during college because her parents helped pay for the tuition.
Since Cindie is the ‘new kid on the block’, she is often asked to work the late shift from 4:00 p.m. to midnight. She works with one other person – Jeffrey Lyndell – who is the assistant shift supervisor. Lyndell has been with Boston Beans for three years but recently was demoted from shift supervisor.
For the past two weeks, Lyndell has been leaving before 11 p.m., after most of the stores in the Marketplace close down, and he has asked Cindie to close up by herself. Cindie felt this was wrong and it was starting to concern her, but she hasn’t spoken to Lyndell and has not informed the store manager. However, something happened one night that caused Cindie to consider taking the next step.
At 11:00 p.m., 10 Japanese tourists came into the store for coffee. Cindie was alone and had to rush around and make five different cold-blended drinks and five different hot-blended coffees. While she was working, one of the Japanese tourists who spoke English very well approached her and said that he was shocked such a famous American coffee shop would only have one worker in the store at any time during the working day. Cindie didn’t want to ignore the man’s comments so she answered that her coworker had to go home early because he was sick. That seemed to satisfy the tourist.
It took Cindie almost 20 minutes to make all the drinks and field two phone calls that came in during that time. After she closed for the night, Cindie reflected on the experience. She realized it could get worse before it gets better because Jeffrey Lyndell was now making it a habit to leave work early. She had to either approach him about it or speak with the store manager. She felt much more comfortable talking to the store manager. In fact, in Cindie’s own words, ‘Lyndell gives me the creeps’.
Assume Cindie approached Lyndell about her concerns. Lyndell tells Cyndie that he has an alcohol problem. Lately, it’s gotten to him real bad. That’s why he’s left early – to get a drink and calm his nerves. Lyndell also said that this is the real reason he was demoted. He was warned that if one more incident occurred, the store manager would fire him. He pleaded with Cindie to work with him through these hard times. How would you react to Lyndell’s request if you were Cindie? Would you honor his request for confidentiality and support? Why or why not? What if Lyndell was a close personal friend would that change your answer? Be sure to consider the implications of your decision on other parties potentially affected by your actions.
Assume Cindie keeps quiet. The following week another incident occurs where Cindie gets into a shouting match with a customer who became tired of waiting for his coffee after 10 minutes. Cindie felt terrible about it, apologized to the customer after serving his coffee, and left work that night wondering if it was time to apply to graduate school. The customer was so irate that he contacted the store manager and expressed his displeasure about service and Cindie’s attitude. What do you think the store manager should do? Support your answer with ethical reasoning.
1. Evaluate the actions of the parties from the perspective of six pillars of character.
2. Evaluate the actions from the perspective of Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development.
3. What ethical reasoning can you develop from this case?
Include your opinions and your current leadership skills that will influence the process for creating awareness of appropriate ethical behavior.