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Ethical decision making in international business

As a project manager, Kelly is leading a team on an international business trip where she is scheduled to do a presentation on its project and to negotiate a deal. Just a few days before the trip, Kelly gets a call asking her whether she is willing to let a male member of her team do all the talking because the managers at the company with whom they were planning to do business felt more comfortable dealing with men. Kelly is told that she would still be in charge and that this would never happen again. If this deal works out, it would prove very profitable for the company as well as for Kelly's career. Kelly thinks about the situation in which she finds herself; she has worked very hard on this project and, if the deal is successful, she is bound to get a promotion. On the other hand, she feels discriminated against based on the fact that she is a woman. She has the choice of acting on her principles and calling off the deal, or going ahead with this modification on a 'one time basis' and getting a promotion. After contemplating on the issue for a while, she decides to go ahead with deal and lets someone do all the talking. When they get back she is promoted and everybody is happy. What do you think of Kelly's decision? Could this situation be prevented all together? If you were in a similar situation what would you choose to do and why?

1- discuss Kelly's options/alternatives
2- what are the ethical dilemmas Kelly would face under each scenario?
3- discuss whether or not Kelly made the right decision
4- develop a creative solution that allows Kelly to satisfy everyone involved, including herself. (egoism & utilitarian)

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Ethical Decision Making

As a project manager, Kelly is leading a team on an international business trip where she is scheduled to do a presentation on its project and to negotiate a deal. Just a few days before the trip, Kelly gets a call asking her whether she is willing to let a male member of her team do all the talking because the managers at the company with whom they were planning to do business felt more comfortable dealing with men. Kelly is told that she would still be in charge and that this would never happen again. If this deal works out, it would prove very profitable for the company as well as for Kelly's career. Kelly thinks about the situation in which she finds herself; she has worked very hard on this project and, if the deal is successful, she is bound to get a promotion. On the other hand, she feels discriminated against based on the fact that she is a woman. She has the choice of acting on her principles and calling off the deal, or going ahead with this modification on a "one time basis" and getting a promotion. After contemplating on the issue for a while, she decides to go ahead with deal and lets someone do all the talking. When they get back she is promoted and everybody is happy.

What do you think of Kelly's decision?

Well, Kelly was free to make the decision so it doesn't appear she was coerced. She was recognized by her company as having been the one behind the success of the project and she received the promotion. Finally, we are told that everybody is happy and this would seem to include Kelly. Based on these facts I think Kelly made a good decision.

Could this situation be prevented all together?

I don't think so. Part of doing business is knowing what things or people will clinch the deal when an idea or product is presented. If they had asked Kelly specifically to be the one to make the ...

Solution Summary

This solution involves a case scenario involving an ethical dilemma in international business. The original case study as well as a commentary on how the individual should proceed is included. Specifically egoistic and utilitarian perspectives are examined. Over 1,200 words of original text.

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