You are the assistant director of human resources. Janice Marshall has asked you to review the Code of Ethics to determine if John has violated its provisions. You are to prepare a paper that addresses the following:
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1. Evaluate International Widgets’ Code of Ethics at the conclusion of the You Decide scenario. Do any provisions prohibit John’s behavior? Please explain.
2. In addition to a possible ethics violation, could International Widgets pursue other legal avenues against John and/or its competitor? Review your textbook and library references to assist you in answering these questions.
3. Is John in a fiduciary relationship with International Widgets? Why or why not? Is he an agent of International Widgets? Identify the duties and responsibilities of an agent and whether or not John is fulfilling those obligations. Review your textbook and library references to assist you in answering these questions.
4. What action should Gloria take involving John?
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.
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 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 underperforming. 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 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 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 Widgets.
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