leadership and ethical decision making

Scenario A

Note: All character and company names are fictional and are not intended to depict any actual person or business.

Your meeting with the chief executive officers (CEOs) of UWEAR and PALEDENIM went well. In a discussion following the meeting, Theresa Tramlin, the CEO of UWEAR, mentioned that she would like you to spend some time in the field with her top sales representative to get a feel for what the salespeople face every day selling in the current business environment. Today, you are scheduled to spend the day with Joe Smith.

As you walk across the lobby of UWEAR, you see Theresa talking to a tall, distinguished-looking man. “This is Joe Smith,” Theresa introduces when you step up to them. “You’ll be spending some time with him today in the field.”

“Nice to meet you, Joe,” you respond, shaking Joe’s hand.

Theresa says goodbye and makes her way to the elevator while you and Joe head toward the parking garage. “We’re going to meet with a couple of clients today,” Joe explains. “First, we’ll have lunch with Bill Bateman, the CEO of the Peninsula Hotel chain. He’s a great guy and I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting him.”

“Where are we meeting him for lunch?” I ask, getting into Joe’s car.

“Bill’s hotel, the Peninsula, has a great restaurant that I frequently use to meet clients,” Joe answers. “The food is outstanding. We’re going to meet him there to discuss the renewal of his uniform contract.”

As you continue the drive to the hotel, Joe elaborates on his business history with Bill. “I was able to win the contract for the Peninsula chain last year,” he explains. “We were just able to underbid our competitor, Threads4U. In fact, Bill said that I underbid them by about $5 per uniform. Great victory on my part.”

“It sounds like you’ve established a great working relationship with Bill,” you say.

“Oh, yeah,” Joe agrees. “He’s a great guy. The first time we met, I was on my way to buy a nice bottle of cabernet as a birthday gift for my wife. She loves the expensive wines. I happened to mention this to Bill, he said he orders it all the time and offered to give me some for free. I told him it wasn’t

necessary, but he insisted. When I got my car back from the valet, I found not just a bottle, but an entire case of high-end cabernet in my trunk.” Joe shakes his head, smiling. “But that’s just the kind of guy Bill is.”

“It sounds like it worked out for you and your wife,” you comment. “Did she enjoy her birthday gift?”

“Yes,” Joe says. “We both enjoyed it for quite some time. Well, here we are,” he adds, pulling up the Peninsula Hotel.

As you park and exit the car, Joe explains, “Since Bill and I have been doing business, he’s referred three other hotel owners to me to supply their uniforms. Except for when I’m meeting with one of his competitors, I usually conduct business meetings with clients here at the restaurant in Bill’s hotel.”

“It’s a beautiful hotel,” you comment as Joe leads you through the lobby, admiring the elegant décor. “No wonder you enjoy coming here. I wouldn’t mind bringing my family here for a weekend sometime.”

“Actually,” Joe says, “My wife and I have become really good friends with Bill and his wife. He often invites us out onto his yacht with his family, we go to social events with them, and we’ve stayed at the hotel several times. We really enjoy it. You should bring your family sometime, too. Kids love the pool with the waterfall.

You nod, following Joe into the hotel’s restaurant. After all you’ve heard about Bill, you are very interested in meeting him.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400-600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

Note: All character and company names are fictional and are not intended to depict any actual person or business.

Theresa and Mike want to create a merged company that is defined by a culture of integrity, thus aiding employees in making ethical decisions, such as in Joe’s ethical dilemma. They will begin by understanding the methods of embedding ethical decision making and behaviors into the culture, including their responsibilities as leaders. You, the consultant, are asked to provide recommendations and guidance to help them shape the culture they intend. This discussion is about values, a culture of integrity, and the role of leaders in creating and maintaining it.

Materials in Beyond the Book, intellipath, and the M.U.S.E. will help you prepare for this discussion.

Answer the following:

  • Identify the key initiatives that are required to build a values-driven culture that is defined by integrity.
    • Discuss the development of values, including what ethical theories underpin organizational values.
    • Discuss specific decision-making processes that lead to ethical decision making. Include any insights from your professional experience.
    • What programs or processes help achieve a values-driven culture of integrity?
  • Identify the key behaviors required of Theresa and Mike to embed the desired culture.
    • What is their role in leading the initiatives?
    • What actions are important to communicate and establish alignment across the merged organization?
 
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