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    Karen works at Verizon. She is a part time sales rep, and she always meets her quota. Succeeding is important to her, but she is unwilling to "snake" (steal activations) from her co-workers. However, lately she has noticed that Maria has been skipping customers on the guest list so that she can take the customers that want to activate. This is against store policy, and it is one form of what is referred to in the store as "being a shark". Karen has noticed that her sales have started slipping recently because she seems to only get customers that are having problems. She is not sure what she should do. She has considered talking about it with the manager, but she doesn't want to seem like a tattletale. She has also considered just going down the list and taking only the customers that want to activate as well, but that leaves a lot of customers not being served, and that is no way to retain customers. Because of her drop in sales her job is going to be in jeopardy so she has to do something soon.

    What should she do?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com September 26, 2022, 6:39 pm ad1c9bdddf
    https://brainmass.com/sociology/theoretical-framework/business-ethics-explored-22360

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    Description I created this sceneario, but not sure how to conclude it?
    Posting Karen works at Verizon. She is a part time sales rep, and she always meets her quota. Succeeding is important to her, but she is unwilling to "snake" (steal activations) from her co-workers. However, lately she has noticed that Maria has been skipping customers on the guest list so that she can take the customers that want to activate. This is against store policy, and it is one form of what is referred to in the store as "being a shark". Karen has noticed that her sales have started slipping recently because she seems to only get customers that are having problems. She is not sure what she should do. She has considered talking about it with the manager, but she doesn't want to seem like a tattletale. She has also considered just going down the list and taking only the customers that want to activate as well, but that leaves a lot of customers not being served, and that is no way to retain customers. Because of her drop in sales her job is going to be in jeopardy so she has to do something soon. What should she do?

    This is a question of ethics. Karen has to decide whether she will be "unethical" by behaving in a similar way as she suspects that her colleagues are or behave in a more "ethical" way by engaging in an ethical decision-making process to determine the best and most ethical course of action to take in this particular business situation. Most organizations adhere to an ethical code and, thus, expect their employees to consider this code of ethics in all their decisions, especially when there seems to be conflicting values, such as self-interest versus morality. The ethical approach usually is a process of decision-making considering all the variables in the situation through application of all the principles and codes in the Code of Ethics that the organization adheres to.

    For example, Andrews and Kemper (1992)'s Problem Solving Model (see http://www.esd.mun.ca/~cerr/ethics.ppt for several different ethic theories) proposes the following steps:

    1. Define the problem
    a. Recognize the problem
    b. Collect information
    2. Consider the options
    a. Identify and compare alternatives

    3. Make a decision
    a. Select an option
    b. Implement quickly and unequivocally

    Karen's problem: Karen seems to be dealing with the conflicting values of self-interest versus the customer's (and company's) interest. That is, she is questioning whether she should resort to unethical means (being a "snake" or a "shark" in self-interest by raising her customer list and saving her job without considering the customer's that will not be served in this process or the company's reputation) or whether she should consider a more "ethical" approach (talking to someone about what is going on). She could collect information in various ways before making a decision (i.e., read the code of ethics of the organization which may have examples of similar ways to handle the situation, talking to other collogues to see what they think and if they are experiencing similar things as she is, etc.)

    Consider the options: Some option may be, to talk to directly to her collogues that she suspects, to go above their head directly to the supervisor without talking to her colleagues, resort to unethical behavior, such as being a "shark" or a "snake," or even doing nothing is an option. Can you think of others?

    Next Karen would go through each of her options and write out the pros and cons of each and then compare the alternatives.

    1. Go directly to her colleagues (i.e., cons-they may get angry at her, take even more of her customers away, make up stories about her, get her fired; pros-she may be wrong and find out it is something else, or that only one person is doing this and the other staff are thankful that she brought it out in the open, she feels better about it, etc.)

    2. Being a "shark" or a "snake" (i.e., cons-she could also get fired for this type of behavior, she could not live with herself, the unethical culture is continued through her actions, etc. pros-possibly increase her customer base, and not risk having her job in jeopardy, get even with her "unethical" co-workers, if you can't beat them join them attitude, etc.)

    3. Go farther up the ladder (i.e., cons-most ethic codes suggest not to go up the ladder but to speak directly to the person first, rejected as a tattletale by her co-workers and possibly her superiors because she did not follow the ethical standards and principles; pros-took some form of action may make her feel better temporarily at least, etc.) Are there others?

    4. Doing nothing (i.e., cons-everything stays the same, she may loose her job, it may get worse, she is highly stressed, etc. pros-she doesn't have to rock the boat, no confrontations, the problem may be brought up by someone else)

    Make a decision: Karen will need to take a good look at this information and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option. Let's assume that Karen wants to make the most "ethical" decision. Assuming that this organization's ethical code and policy suggests going directly to her colleague prior to the manager, it seems that this would be her first move. Talk to the colleagues of her suspicions and ask them to stop. If that doesn't work, go to the manager.

    FINAL COMMENTS: I hope you have a general idea of the ethical problem-solving process that a professional must engage when an ethical problem occurs. These are only suggestions, however, and the process is more important than content as you may have other ideas of what Karen would see as the pros and cons of each option. Interesting question. I hope this helps and take care.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com September 26, 2022, 6:39 pm ad1c9bdddf>
    https://brainmass.com/sociology/theoretical-framework/business-ethics-explored-22360

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