Two senior vice presidents, Robert Donner, VP of International Sales, and Jeanette Falcon, VP of Personnel, disagree on whom to send to Saudi Arabia to negotiate the sale of two major computer installations worth approximately $35 million. Colorado Computing Company (CCC) has an excellent product and enjoys a good reputation in the area. With effective negotiations they are certain they can make a profitable sale. There are two candidates for the job, Jane Adams and Bill Smith. As soon as Jane heard about the possible sale in Saudi Arabia, she asked senior management to send her.
Jane has an MBA in international business and six years' experience with CCC, and she has negotiated two major sales to firms in Norway and Sweden. Bill Smith has been in the marketing/sales department with CCC for five years. He has an excellent reputation and he has a broad understanding of the product line, as does Jane. His only international experience was two years ago when he accompanied a senior executive to Japan to help negotiate a major sale. Bill's assistance was considered crucial in making the sale. Bill would be happy to go to Saudi Arabia but, if he isn't sent, he won't he upset.
At this point, the two vice presidents are not certain who should represent CCC. The vice presidents agree that Jane has the most experience and that, in almost any other part of the world, they could send her as the chief negotiator. Even though Jane has always been a team player, both VPs agree that Jane could consider that management has a lack of confidence in her if she is not picked. The positions of the two VPs are:
Robert Donner: I feel this position must be given to Bill Smith. Although Jane, is more qualified in international business, I feel her gender could possibly affect the negotiations.
This is the largest international sale we have ever negotiated and, according to our sources, we are the front-runners. We are confident...