Former President Suharto of Indonesian once famously dismissed the concern over his country’s corruption by saying: Well you come out here from Washington with these high ideas to tell us….
What ethical and other issues are at play in this scenario?
Maria, Peter, and Eduardo have spent the last two weeks working diligently on their presentation. After several failed attempts, they have a chance to provide advertising services to a major consumer products organization. After dotting all their I’s and crossing all their T’s, they hop on the metro together to go the downtown offices where they’ll be making their pitch. They are greeted warmly by Johan, the VP of Operations, and three product line managers. After a brief chat in the reception area, they are escorted into a large conference room. The presentation goes smoothly and Maria, Peter, and Eduardo secretly exchange “we nailed it” winks. Johan asks a few questions about past and current client campaigns for which they are responsible. Just then, Peter takes over and proceeds to drop names. At first, Maria and Eduardo watched and smiled in support of their teammate. But as the tale grew longer (and more exaggerated), their smiles began to neutralize. Maria thought to herself, “What is he doing? We don’t have that client.” Eduardo could feel his temperature rise as he contemplated, “Sure, landing this account would be a major coup for the company and possibly even a promotion for me, but if they find out about Peter’s lies, we’ll lose the account—and maybe even our jobs!”
1. What ethical and other issues are at play in this scenario? 2. If you were a member of Peter’s team, how would you react to this situation? What, if anything, would you say or do and why? 3. What options for resolving this situation exist—during and/or after the negotiation? Describe two or three, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. 4. What, if anything, could have been done to have prevented this situation?