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Workplace Ethical Challenge: Textbook Sales Case Study

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The case study:
Sally is a sales representative close to her sales goal for the year. If she sells textbooks worth $1,000 in the next week, she will hit her sales goal and earn a $10,000 bonus. Sally's customers are not interested in purchasing any more educational material this year. Her only hope is to buy those textbooks herself and donate them to a needy school.

What would you do if you were in Sally's situation?
Do you think it is ethical for Sally to spend $1,000 to earn $10,000? Why or why not?
In your opinion, what are some of the ethical challenges faced by operations managers? What is each employee's responsibility regarding ethics in the workplace?

The solution addresses all of these questions. There is a discussion on possible policy violation in addition to an ethics issue.

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Solution Summary

This solution analyzes a case study of a sales representative wanting to make a purchase of $1,000 in textbooks, which she plans to donate, in order to reach her sales goal and receive a $10,000 bonus. The solution addresses the ethics in doing so, along with the potential ramifications. The solution is over 300 words.

Solution Preview

Most organizations have policies or procedures in place, which prohibit salespeople from purchasing a product as means of generating commission. Although it appears that Sally has great intentions by donating the books to a needy school, I would not make the purchase if my employer had strict policies against such actions. In absence of such policy, I would consider making the $1,000 purchase and donation, but not without first asking my sales manager if such acts are ...

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