Business moral dilemmas Second Conditional

New Market Leader Intermediate Units 1 to 11

Choose one of the situations below connected to free trade and predict which answer your partner will choose. Then ask them the question and see whether that is actually what they will do.

If a free-trade agreement would help your company but harm the economy of your country, would you:

a) campaign for it

b) campaign against it

c) leave the government to make up its own mind

If outsourcing would help cut costs but have a very big effect on your country’s economy, would you:

a) outsource all the production

b) outsource part of the production

c) outsource the production but help the places were the redundancies would be

d) keep production local but negotiate much lower wages

e) keep production lower then stop production if losses became too high

If you could avoid customs on goods that were produced in China by transporting them to your country via somewhere with which you have an FTA, would you:

a) do so

b) do so but do a little bit of work of them in that third country

c) check with the government first whether it is legal

d) not do so

If moving production offshore would be cheaper than complying with new national environmental regulations, would you:

a) do so

b) do so, but help the environment in another way

c) campaign for the national environmental regulations to be dropped

d) campaign for the environmental regulations to become international

Do the same with the sentences below, but this time making up at least two options and then predicting which your partner will choose.

• If your products were very unreliable,…

• If a wild but popular celebrity like Charlie Sheen or Amy Winehouse offered to endorse your products,…

• If one of your products’ lifecycles was so short that it would be half the price within months of its launch,…

• If a colleague was currently dating someone who works for your biggest competitor,…

• If your company was so bureaucratic that it was almost impossible to get fired,…

• If lying about your education could help while negotiating in a very hierarchical and status-conscious country,…

• If you knew that your company was going to be taken over soon,…

• If you could avoid being relocated by buying expensive presents for your boss,… –

• If you were in charge of reorganising your department or section,…

• If you were responsible for downsizing,…

• If your friend worked for one of the companies competing to upgrade your company’s computer system,…

• If a friend who is a public servant told you that the government planned to deregulate your industry,…

• If complaints about a shocking TV ad would be good publicity for your company,…

• If standing close to someone and bodily contact would make them feel uncomfortable and so help distract them during negotiations,…

• If you found out that your company was breaking the law,…

• If you found the only copy of an illegal document signed by your boss,…

Some of the situations above could be connected to these words on the topic of ethics. Match them up to the situations and label each one positive or negative.

Cover up

Insider trading



Bribery (= money under the table/ backhanders)


PDF for easy saving and printing: Business moral dilemmas 2nd conditionals

Related pages

Business second conditional (with link to general English second conditional)

Market Leader Intermediate Unit 11 page

Market Leader Intermediate

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