Business Ethics Situations

Business Ethics Situations - Business Ethics Situations 1...

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Business Ethics Situations 1. ProTech, Inc. It was late afternoon on February 8, 1997. Scott Clifford, VP of the Control Systems Division of ProTech, Inc., had returned to his office. His desk was a sea of telephone messages. Several were from Exxon's chemical plant in Beaumont, Texas. ProTech had submitted a bid to provide a highly sophisticated, computer-based process control system for the Beaumont plant. The competition was in its late stages and Exxon was nervous about ProTech's commitment to its control system business. Clifford threw himself into his chair and began thinking about what to tell Exxon. A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts. It was Joanne Lembert, the plant manager for ProTech's control systems plant. Clifford sank further into his chair. Lembert entered. "Scott, do you have a minute?" she asked. "I'm concerned about our handling of the control systems product line. With these inventory cutbacks you've imposed, it looks like we're trying to dump our product and move out of this line. Scott, we've worked together and been friends for a long time. I really need to know what's going on. What is our strategy for control systems? Are we dumping the business? Should I be looking for another job?" Clifford knew that corporate was thinking seriously of eliminating the control systems line. The company was under heavy financial pressure, and management wasn't sure it could continue to fund the business until it reached break-even in 1999. Efforts to find a strategic partner, while encouraging at times, had foundered. Clifford still believed in the product line and its eventual success, but he had to keep Joanne and all his best managers on board to make the business work. He didn't know how to respond to all these inquiries. Should he tell Joanne the truth? Should he stall? What should he tell his customers and potential customers?
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2. Sale of Sand to the Saudis Joe Raymond's position as sales manager for Granite Rock and Sand was in jeopardy. His unit had been low performer in terms of sales for the last seven quarters. Joe's supervisor, VP Tom Haws, told Joe that he had through the next quarter to pull his unit out of last place. Haws also told Joe that Joe would have to be replaced if the improvement did not occur. Joe and his wife had just purchased their first home. With their mortgage payments totaling $1,200 per month, the loss of Joe's salary would mean the loss of their home. Following Tom's warning, Joe began interviewing candidates for a vacant sales position in his unit. Joe had conducted three interviews when the final candidate, Jessica Morris, arrived. During the interview with Morris, Joe learned that she was the victim of a layoff by a competitor, Silt, Sand and Such. Joe was not terribly impressed with Morris, but just before she left, she opened her briefcase and offered Joe a sheet of paper bearing the name of an official in the Saudi Arabian government. Morris explained: When I was with Silt, Sand and Such, we started a program for finding innovative markets for our products. You know, we wanted to tap markets no one had ever thought of. After a lot of
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