Scenario 1 (10% of the final grade)
You and four coworkers are assigned an important project due to the COO at the end of the quarter. This project will launch a new product that the organization has made a large investment in terms of employee hours, financial assets, and its future in the industry. Your team is responsible for the development of the marketing and distribution strategy for the new product, which is a critical piece of the new product’s and the company’s success. You were appointed as the lead for this team that has 90 days to launch the product. As the team lead you must develop the plan, secure resources needed to complete the project from the COO, and ensure the final plan will be implemented at the launch date.
As a team, the four of you agreed on the distribution of work and to meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9 to 10:30 to report on the progress of the project, complete tasks associated with the project, and troubleshoot issues that come up. This project requires close coordination and reliance on your team members to complete. The first two weeks are going very well, and you and the team are on schedule.
After the end of the third week, one of your team members indicates she is too busy to attend all of the meetings due to their current workload, but she promises she will get their work done by the deadline and send written reports to the team members before the meetings. Your frustration and your other team members’ frustration is growing and there is a legitimate fear that your team will not meet the goal of having the plan ready for launch.
Your reputation as a professional and manager, as well as all of the team members, could be negatively impacted, and the consequence for the company can be highly detrimental. This project must be successful.
You are aware the team member who stated they are too busy to attend the meetings has a challenging job within the organization. You see her come to work at 7 a.m. and you are told by others she often puts in 12-hour days. Within the unit she manages, there are 2 employees who are difficult employees. They are very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the organization, their supervisor, and the workload. You also learned this team member is facing several personal issues as well. She has a child who has had a series of operations to correct a medical condition that can be life-threatening and will need at least two more in the coming year.
In terms of the organization, the company expects leaders to create a supportive environment for all employees and to help employees to grow and be successful. Historically your organization was one of the last in your industry to place women in leadership roles and several years ago, there were multiple cases of sexual harassment and a hostile environment for women and people of color. The organization has been proactive in addressing these issues and has a no-tolerance policy towards people who violate rules governing harassment and hostility towards co-workers.
Using your personal ethics statement as a guide, how do you handle this situation? Provide details on the steps you will take in addressing this issue and related this to your personal ethics statement. Be very specific about what you will say to the team member and to the team as a whole about the situation and the actions you have taken.
Scenario 2 (10% of the final grade)
You are hired as a production manager within a small manufacturing firm that produces wood furniture for homes. You ask the company owner who is the CEO what the environmental management plan is. He responded that it is not your job to worry about that just make more units.
After working there for a few weeks, you notice several processes which have environmental implications, such as:
- there is excessive use of cardboard and paper products in wrapping the furniture for shipment.
- The manufacturing floor is illuminated with older and less efficient lighting units
- The plant is not using any sort of renewable energy source to heat the building or power machinery
- The furniture is being shipped by a fleet of older trucks that are not fuel-efficient
- There is no recycling practice for refuse and scrap products
- Wood stains, paint, and other chemicals are put into steel drums and stored on the grounds and to your knowledge, are not disposed of properly
- There are no paperless options for billing and invoices to retailers and other customers
- The workers are often exposed to contaminants, and not all of the machines have the most modern safety devices.
- Turnover among employees is high mostly because the pay is low and it is not a safe or clean environment, which is true for the industry as well as this plant.
You can see the company is in need of an environmental management plan that is good for the environment, the employees, and after an initial investment, will save the company a substantial amount of money. Again, you raise this issue with the CEO, and he responds, “We don’t have time for that nonsense. You just worry about production and getting that furniture out to the retail stores. We are in business to make furniture and because when we do that, we make money. This company has been making furniture for 75 years and never worried about the environment the way you do.”
What would you do in this situation and what are your choices? Using your personal ethical statement, prepare a response. Identify the next steps you would take and justify these according to your personal ethical statement.