We all know that there is one ‘ethical’ answer to most of life’s problems. So making an ethical decision should be easy. Life, however, is complicated and we may have to make a decision against competing interests. This essay is designed to assist you in thinking about options, not a test of your ethical stance.
Describe what actions, if any, you could take in the situation below. Outline the possible outcomes of those actions and how you would deal with them. There are a number of competing stakeholders that will be affected by your decisions, including yourself. Remember to critically evaluate the situation.
In your answer, you must explore the competing ethical considerations in the case given. Remember to include in your discussion the impacts that different decisions may have on the different stakeholders. In your conclusion you should outline which decision you would go with, why you have made that choice and review the possible impacts of that decision on the different stakeholders. Remember there is no right or wrong answer.
Alderan is not a true democracy. Although there are periodic elections, Jacob Mayfield is always re-elected as the President. Mayfield has ensured over the years that members of his family have gained control of the various government departments in the nation. His hold on the political space within his country is very strong.
You are a senior member of a sales team of a large, international company, Seize The Day. The main offices of Seize The Day are situated in Sydney. Seize The Day sells cotton products on the international market. You and members of your team have travelled to Alderan to negotiate for permission to import a substantial amount of raw cotton for processing, as the costs of milling in Alderan are very low, enabling Seize The Day to gain a strong competitive advantage for your finished products. You and your colleagues are very much aware that the culture in Alderan is encapsulated by Jacob Mayfield’s influence and, because you are negotiating with the Alderainian Importation Ministry, you will be probably be negotiating with a member of Mayfield’s family. This has placed your team on the alert as the Australian Federal Government takes a dim view of paying bribes for favours or business advantage, and Alderan is just the kind of country where paying bribes to obtain economic gain is an expected part of the culture.
The new contract is important to the company. The cotton products market is flooded with supply from a number of other countries and your team’s success or failure in the negotiations will have a big impact on your company and your Australian cotton suppliers. As part of the negotiations, the subject is brought up about who is going to be processing the cotton for you. The Alderainian Importation Ministry official is very helpful and recommends to you one of the companies operating in Alderan. He is effusive about the honesty and the efficiency of the recommended company. When the marketing team hesitate, he seems to become less friendly and you all get the impression that the ‘recommendation’ is more like a requirement before you can obtain the necessary paperwork. As yet you have not approached the nominated company for quotes on costing.
As a senior member of the team, you are faced with accepting the ‘recommendation’ or declining and losing the opportunity to use the cheaper facilities in Alderan. What do you do?