A very prestigious events planning firm, Verlon, has approached John Sanders, vice president of Echo Industries to secure a contract as a vendor. The president of Verlon Events Planning would like Echo Industries to consider their company for planning Echo’s several corporate upcoming conventions. Echo hosts 3 large events per year, which results in the awarding of more than $500,000 dollars in contracts. David Smith is in charge of researching suppliers and vendors for Echo Industries to ensure compliance with their ethics department. One of the ethical stipulations for awarding contracts is that agreements cannot be awarded to relatives of upper management employees. Vice president Sander, David’s boss, recommends Verlon catering as a choice, and states to David, “There is not a need to do research on the Verlon, I can vouch for the company.” He also states that David would be up for a promotion if the upcoming events are successful. David is excited about this news; he was unemployed for 2 years before landing his present position 6 months ago. A promotion would certainly help him catch up on bills and provide for his family of four. However, out of curiosity about the Verlon company, David conducted some research. He discovered that the Verlon Event Planning’s president is the ex-sister-in-law to his boss. At the monthly general finance meeting for approving contracts, the finance manager, William Young, asks David two questions: “Is the company reputable?” “Would there be a conflict of interest according to our company policies?” Vice president Sanders and William looks in David’s direction for the answers.
Consider this ethical dilemma, and then answer the following:
- From a deontological perspective, what should David do in this situation?
- Should David have discussed the research findings with his boss before the meeting? Why? What is at risk here?
- What ramifications, if any would David answers have for the companies? For David?
- What library sources might you offer to support your positions here? How do they differ from your ideas?
- Have you ever been placed in a situation such as this one? What decisions did you have to make? What was the outcome?
- Discuss with 2 or more classmates their positions and responses to the ethical dilemma presented.