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Business Ethics Case Study
Use the case materials to complete the worksheets below.
See if you agree with these and come up with more on your own:
1) Describe all assumptions you see in any documents.
Cliff O'Connor - CEO
1. Assumed Pat Lambert's history in marketing for the cereal industry would enable her to market the new product for AcuScan, Inc.
2. Assumed the staff would overcome any hurdles for the good of the company.
3. Assumed there was enough money in the budget to launch the new product.
Pat Lambert - Director of Marketing
1. Assumed the new product would be a simple addition to the product line.
2. Assumed programmers had plenty of time to work on a new product even though she was aware of painful staff cuts in the previous year.
3. Assumed that because Kelly Thomas would not agree with her, he was not committed to the new product.
4. Assumed that the product could be readied for market by outside contractors in the specified time frame although she was aware of the extreme budget crunch.
5. Assumed a meeting would resolve all problems.
6. Assumed the customer would be happy with whatever product was developed and launched.
7. Assumed Kelly was being insulting because he questioned her knowledge about QC.
Kelly Thomas - Senior Engineer, Product Development
1. Assumed that Pat, Director of Marketing knew nothing about QC (quality control).
2. Assumed that customers would be "short changed" because the company may not be able to comply with the customers' expectations.
3. Assumed Pat did not have any technology experience because her past experience was in the cereal industry.
4. Assumed Pat was going behind his back because Pat spoke to one of the programmers first without consulting with Kelly, albeit Pat's action was a violation of chain-of-command.
Chris Martinas - VP, Product Development
1. Assumed that a simple hardware change was all that was needed to get the new iScanner market-ready.
2. Assumed it would not take much time to produce the new product.
Can you see where these arguments might be weak in logic?
2) Explain the arguments made by each of these people.
Cliff O'Connor argued that the new retail retinal scanner would help AcuScan regain its position as the leader in retinal scan technology. He further maintained that the new product could be developed and launched even thought the company was facing a budget deficit.
Pat Lambert argued that the scanner needed to be launched in retail, not banks or other possibly easier markets. She also argued that Kelly informed her in a one on one conversation that it would not be a problem to make the iScanner market-ready in time. Another argument Pat made was that she had bigger problems than to listen to and answer questions presented by other team members.
Kelly Thomas argued that the new product was much more complicated to produce than Pat had stated. He also maintained that Pat had little understanding of how the iScanner worked and would have a better understanding of it if she took the time to acquaint herself with other areas of the business.
Chris Martinas argued that AcuScan had to expand into a different market. He also stated that the company had to act quickly to beat the competition and if the product did not get to the market by early 2004 it would put the company at a disadvantage with its competition because Secur-A was working on a new product. He argued that if AcuScan acted first it would put the company back on top of its market.
3) Evaluate each argument.
a. Cliff O'Connor - Cliff is making a logical decision based on the past history of the company and AcuScan would probably regain its position as the leader in technology as he argues. Although his decision is logical, ...
This is the analysis of a case study in ethics and critical thinking for AcuScan, a ficticious company.