What ethical dilemma was Bob Hopkins facing?
Ethical issues, also known as moral dilemmas, are events or situations that involve two or more options for an individual. However, neither of the two options in the case is ethically correct. Bob found himself in an ethical dilemma after receiving an order for Stan Paris who ordered 600 pieces of 3*12 Doug fir-rough-sawn and did not specify the purpose for the planks. Bob accepted the order because it seemed to create a financial breakthrough for the month of February.
The ethical dilemma arose after Mike Fair-weather, his business partner, called to inquire if Bob had received a call from a customer ordering a truck of 16-foot scaffold plank. Mike Fair-weather’s call created a dilemma in the sense that the orders had the same quantity but no particular material. Bob thought that the orders were from the same client but was not certain about it. After Bob had called Stan to inquire about the purpose of the ordered planks, Stan informed him that they were to be used for scaffold planks. Bob was not happy with the order because the materials in the store were not quality lumbers and, therefore, not suitable for use as platform planks. The invoice created a situation in which Bob had to choose between his job and taking the responsibility for Quality Lumber customers.
Who are the stakeholders and what were their conflicting values in Bob’s decision?
The stakeholders are the people that are concerned with the business and the profits in Quality Lumber. The interested parties in the scaffold plank incident include Mike, John, Stan, and Bob’s coworkers. Also, the end-users of the platform plank are part of the stakeholders representing the customers. In the case of John and Stan, Bob’s finds it hard to make the decision because both Stan and John will be victims of the losing February. Their businesses will not gain profits that they both need to get through the month of February.
The coworkers such as Mike, Steve, and Janet altered the decision of Bob in the sense that Bob’s decision kept them at the risk of losing their jobs or getting low pay. On the other hand, workers who will be standing on the scaffolding alter Bob’s decision in the sense that a wrong decision made by Bob will put their lives at risk. The low quality of the material could increase the chances of accidents hence could put the workers’ lives in danger.
What alternatives did Bob have? Analyze the consequences of each choice?
Bob had various options that he could use to handle the ethical dilemma. First and foremost, the most suitable alternative was accepting the order and supplying the planks to the clients even though he knew that they did not qualify for use as scaffold planks. The decision of taking the order was strongly influenced by the conversation between John and Bob. Secondly, Bob could cancel the order by refusing to supply the planks after he realized that Quality Lumber materials were not suitable for use as scaffold planks. Rejecting the order could come with severe consequences.
Any alternative taken by Bob could create consequences for both the company and Bob. Also, some of the workers could suffer the effects of Bob’s decision. If Bob decided to take the option of accepting the order, then, the end-users will receive low-quality material that will cause poor final product hence adverse reviews from the clients. Bad reviews mean that the company will lose their good reputation and its trusted customers. Bad reputation could also alter the managerial vision of the enterprise.
What should Bob do? Provide your evidence and rational to support your solution.
If Bob decided to take the decision of rejecting the order, then, he could lose his job as a supplier in the company. Also, the company could remain in the state of $5000 below the break-even point. Rejecting the order could place the company in a bad financial state because supplying the 3×12 Doug fir-rough-sawn could have helped reduce the company’s break-even point. Besides, Steve and Janet could be in a fiscal constraint because missing on Stan’s order could give John a hard time paying their salaries.
The best thing for Bob to do is accept the bid and provide the materials. According to the order, the buyer did not provide the company with the primary purpose of the planks. Although Bob and the company’s authorities had the idea that it was for use as a scaffold plank, they remain professional by providing and supplying lumbers that meet the specifications. Also, the order required the company to provide quality planks that were not available in the market. Therefore, Bob should accept the order since Quality Lumber was in a position to supply materials that could be better than anything else that could conceivably do the job.