Operations Management and Ethical Issue
According to Aquilano, Chase, and Jacobs (2005), "Operations management (OM) is defined as the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's primary products and services" (p.19).
Operations management is a dynamic field and presents exciting new issues and challenges for operations managers. For example, Maura Sprenger, human resources director at Techno Inc., a fast growing information technology company
, is faced with a very difficult issue between winning a multimillion dollar business contract with Apex Company or run the risk of causing a very knowledgeable and valuable employee to quit.
Sprenger faces a dilemma on ethical issues related to diversity in the workplace. And the risk of losing a deal with Apex company, a large client. In addition, Techno presents a false expectation to Apex Company to close a deal which would run the rise of losing the contract deal.
Jack Ridge, Techno's vice president for sales and marketing department
tries to sell a major contract to Apex and with a visit to was Apex's headquarter Ridge is impressed with Apex's diversity program. Ridge is under the impression that executives at Apex are very proactive about the diversity of its workforce and likes its vendors to reflect the same commitment.
Techno has its own employee diversity committee, staff training, and recruiting efforts, however, the staff's diversity is very limited. Because Ridge does not want to send the wrong message to Apex and prevent a lucrative contract he decided he needs to have a player from a minority group, therefore, he picked James Tellis, an African American who is Techno's rising star from the research department who knows the technology and industry and has met with other clients before.
Tellis knows that he ask to be at the sales presentations because he is a minority and he will not be allowed to participate in working on the Apex project. However, Tellis and Sprenger worried that because Tellis will not be working on the Apex's project this will create a false expectations to Apex and Techno would lose the contract. Also, Tellis is very resentful of having to attend the sales presentation because he does not want executives at Techno to use him as a sales tool because of his color.
Ridge wants Tellis to be present at the sales meeting and go along with the plans and not fight the battle and show any resentful. Ridge figures that with Tellis he will stand a better chance of getting the contract. Ridge plans to explain to Apex that Tellis works for Apex and has an important job and will not promise that Tellis will be working on the Apex project team. However, Tellis is very sensitive and outspoken when he is being demand to do something. Therefore, Ridge wants Tellis' boss to order Tellis to attend the sales meeting.
The dilemma Sprenger, as human resources director, faces is that if Tellis is let go off the hook Techno could lose the contract with Apex and it would cost the company a lot of revenue and potentially some jobs. However, if Tellis is being forced to attend the sales meeting Techno would quit his job because he felt pressured to do something that is wrong.
Many of the ethical issues in our society exist today as people are not aware of
what is right and wrong. Techno should understand the importance of incorporating
good ethical practice and meet with Tellis to understand his reaction since he has
been amenable to participating in other sales efforts in the past with other clients.
Furthermore, Techno should explain to Apex the reason why Tellis is at the sales
meeting because Tellis is knowledgeable and has experience on previous technical
projects and Tellis might not be a part of the Apex project working team but he will
be consider for future Apex project. In this situation, both Tellis and Apex will
have a clear understanding of the project team members and Apex will not think
that they have been double crossed.
University of Phoenix.(2005). Operations Strategy and Managing Change
[University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. The McGraw-Hill
Aquilano, et al. (2005) Operations Management
(11th ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill Companies, Retrieved October 13, 2005, from University of Phoenix, Resource, MGT 554. Operations Management. Website: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp
Taguchi, S. (2002, April). A question of appearances. HR Magazine, 47(4), 54-57.