In this scenario, you will evaluate the Code of Ethics to determine
if John Anderson has violated International Widgets’ Code of Ethics by
engaging in business with a competitor.
You Role – The human resources department worked with management to
carefully craft a Code of Ethics. All employees received a copy of the
code and were required to sign off stating that they had read the code
and agreed to abide by its conditions. If an issue concerning an
employee occurs, the human resources department investigates. As the
assistant director of human resources, you are asked to evaluate an
employee’s behavior. You meet with Gloria Smithson to obtain all
information needed to begin your investigation.
Gloria Smithson – Gloria has now been in business for 2 years. Her
business is called International Widgets, and she employs more than 300
people in the business headquarters. In the early stages of the
business, she created a Code of Ethics to govern employees’ behavior.
Recently, one of her salespeople, John Anderson, seems to be under
performing. Historically, he has been a stellar employee and
salesperson, bringing in new clients every month. However, over the last
6 months, not only has he not brought in any new business, but 30% of
his accounts have gone to a competitor. Even with this downturn, John
was on the road 5 days a week and continued to submit expense reports.
Is this ethical?
Janice Marshall – Janice is the director of human resources at
International Widgets. Recently, Janice met with Gloria to let her know
of a rumor in the company that John was actually steering some of his
accounts to a competitor because the competitor gave him a kickback.
John Anderson – John has been employed by International Widgets for
14 months. He likes his job but was recently approached by a competitor
with an offer he could not refuse. The competitor wanted to expand his
domestic market and asked John to work with him for a few months. He
asked that John provide him with the names and phone numbers of the
customers he services. He said he didn’t want John to get into trouble
with International Widgets so he would contact the customers and not
John. However, he told John that for every customer who left
International Widgets, John would receive a “1% payment from the
customer’s first order.” John didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
He has two children in college and needs the extra money, plus he could
continue to try to work with the customer to stay with International