Holiday

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Case Study on Business Ethics: Holiday Cheer or Ethical Dilemma?

Williams had joined Star Corporation, one of the leading consumer electronics company, only a few days back as the Purchase Manager and he was going through the employees conduct manual. He was attracted by the clause, prohibiting acceptance of gifts by the employees of the purchase department. It read as follows:

“Purchase department employees shall not accept gifts from vendors. This is to ensure that no vendor is given any special treatment and the employees work only in the best interest of the firm at all times. Any deviation from the above would be dealt with severely and could mean dismissal from the firm.”

Williams remembered his experience with his previous firm, Maple Corporation, where he had worked from 2000 for six years as purchase head prior to joining the Star Corporation.

It was only six months since he was with the Maples when it was New Year. With the New Year came some inconsequential gifts like ball pens and key chains. The rule in the firm was that an employee could accept no gift worth more than 25 USD. One day one of the vendors brought three wall clocks, one for the MD, one for the GM, and one for Williams. The vendor explained that as his firm had purchased the clocks in bulk they cost only 25 USD each and as such there should not be any hesitation in accepting the same. He added that in any case he is going to accept the Maple’s calendar and dairy for his firm in return. Williams found it hard to believe that the clocks were only worth 25 USD. He decided to take the matter to the MD of the firm.

The MD had one look at the clocks and called his secretary to take one of the clocks meant to be given to the MD to be placed on the wall in his office and told Williams to distribute others as desired by the vendor explaining that in bulk the clocks would cost about 25 USD only. Williams had taken the clock and given to his wife and it became the center point in...
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