Ethical Dilemma

Topics: Ethics, Management, Business ethics Pages: 6 (1727 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Ethical Dilemma 1) Do the end justify the means?
Parties involved:
Garreth Welch- Chairman and group CEO, 59 years old
Richard Deakin- President of West Coast Operations and CEO of Columbia Solutions Catherine Simpsons- head of Sales at Columbia Solutions
Ray Wilson- Financial Controller at Columbia Solutions

The Company:
A medium-sized corporation which owns a number of IT and media related companies in Canada. Garreth Welch founded the corporation. His business style is to identify promising managers and to give them relatively free hands to achive results. No top-down managment style, believes in delegation and that people should ne empowered and trusted, not supervised and controlled. Welch belives that people are basically honest. Richard Deakin has been offered a job as President of West Coast operations by Welch. Deakin has been given full control of a new division and a seat on the Tamarind Board. Wanted to increase profits in the largets company in his new empire, Columbia Solutions. CS is based in Hope, a small town in Vancouver. CS is a very important contributor to the town, both in terms of tax revenue and employment. Deakin made a new managment team consisting of 7 people. Three of them were internal promotions and another four were personally recruited by Deakin. All of them were young and ambitious, with the exception of Ray Wilson, the Financial controller who had been with the company from the outset. Deakin gave them clear and ambitious financial targets. He believes that people are motivated by personal gain. He generally left the managment team to themselves. Effects:

* Customer testimonials were outstanding
* Provided secure and well paid jobs
* Enjoyed good PR through sponsorships of childrens sports clubs and cultural projects in Hope. Disturbing news:
At a dinner two weeks ago, Welch was given some disturbing news ny Deakin. He decided to visit BS. He uncovered a series of practises and financial transactions that constitute an ethical dilemma of dimensions. The main source of information was Catherine Simpson, Head of Sales. She outlined a number of promotional techniques that CS managment team had adpoted over the past thee years to support their successful sales campaigns. 1) Over a 3 year period CS has spent 157.000 CDN with a wine merchant in Vancouver. Simpsons has described the expedentiure as «occasional bottles of wine given to individual customers». However the volumes involved are considerable and many of the invoiced are for deliveries of a case of vintage wine. This raises concerns when it comes to guidelines regarding values of gifts. (Examples of unethical behavior: Giving gifts to a buyer knowing that he or she will be swayed in your favour as a result) 2) Over the past three years CS has spent CDN 350.000 in payments ranging form CDN 10.000 to CDN 45.000 for unspecifies consultancy services. All of these payments have been made out of petty cash. Simpson claims that these payments were legitimate sales expenses. Distubringly, there is no record in the petty cash register of the actual recipients. This can be considered embezzelment.

3) Over the three year period CS has spent CDN 98.500 at a jewellry store in Hope. The invoices from the store range form a minimum of CDN 75 to a number of invoices for CDN 3.000. Simpson explained that these particular invoices were for a gold relief plaque of the CS company logo presented to their most important customers. She described all of the items as «gifts to valued business partners». Unfortunatly, for most of the gifts there is no record of the actual recipients. Embezzelment.

When pressed by Welch on the ethics of these techniques Simposon defended her decisions. (Familiar ethical quandaries: Not taking responsibility fo injurious practises, intentional or not + Cover-ups and misrepresentation in reporting and control procedures.) Admitted that they might be in the moral grey area, but not...
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