BUSINESS ETHICS TUTORIAL
EMERGING BUSINESS ETHICS ISSUES
Case Study: Joseph's Ethical Dilemma.
Joseph Freberg had been with Alcon for 18 months. He had begun his career right out of college with a firm in the Southeast called Cala Industrial, which specialized in air compressors. Because of his work with Cala, he had been lured away to Alcon, in Omaha, as a sales manager. Joseph’s first six months had been hard. Working with older salespeople, trying to get a handle on his people’s sales territories and settling into the corporate culture of a new firm took 16-hour days, six days a week. During those six months, he also bought a house, and his fiancée, Ellen, furnished it, deciding almost everything from the colour of the rugs to the style of the curtains.
Ellen had taken a brokerage job with Trout Brothers and seemed to be working even more hours than Joseph. But the long days were paying off. Ellen was now starting to handle some large accounts and was being noticed by the “right” crowd in the wealthier Omaha areas. Costs for the new home had exceeded their anticipated spending limit, and the plans for their wedding seemed to be getting larger and larger. In addition, Ellen was commuting from her apartment to the new home and then to her job, and the commute killed her car. As a result, she decided to lease something that exuded success.
“Ellen, don’t you think a Mercedes is a little out of our range? What are the payments?” inquired Joseph.
“Don’t worry, darling. When my clients see me in this—as well as when we start entertaining at the new house once we’re married—the payments on the car will seem small compared with the money I’ll be making,” Ellen mused as she ran her fingers through Joseph’s hair and gave him a peck on the cheek.
By the time of their wedding and honeymoon, Joseph and Ellen’s bank statement looked like a bullfighter’s cape — red. “Don’t worry, Joseph, everything will turn out okay. You’ve got a good job. I’ve got a good job....
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