On several occasions, taking responsibility for people management at the workplace can be an extremely challenging task. On a daily basis, the person in charge faces various challenges that need wise decision making ability that will help in resolving issues and keep up the good spirit at the workplace (Braswell, McCarthy & McCarthy, 2012). It is, therefore, necessary that the person in charge has effective management skills, as well as be a good decision maker in order to succeed in his work. Only 16 months ago, I was promoted from being a common salesperson at Alpha Construction to being the company’s procurement manager.
This was such an exciting opportunity for me because Alpha Construction was among the best, as well as busiest construction companies within our region of operation. Unfortunately, I have been exposed to several challenges since I was made the company’s procurement manager because I have to make wise decisions before procuring any materials, or equipment for the company (Braswell et. al., 2012). After the first 6 months in my new post, I was faced with the most challenging moral dilemma as explained in the following paragraphs.
The Nature of the Dilemma
Alpha Construction is a Class A construction company that has been in the market for nearly 22 years now. Hence, it has several large projects ranging from small residential houses to large government multi-development projects. Among these projects was the famous “Luxurious Marionettes” that consisted of 250 units that were being constructed in four phases. At that time, phase 1&2 (125 Units) were near completion, and was supposed to procure all the sanitary appliances for all units. As stipulated in the contract bills of quantities, all the sanitary fitting were supposed to be procured from England since these were durable and aesthetically appealing, but comes with a high price tag.
While I was making arrangements for procuring the sanitary appliances, one of our company directors, Mark Daniel, advised me to purchase the appliances from another dealer. This was a dealer in Chinese products who stocked counterfeit sanitary appliances that appeared similar to the original appliances, which are of lower quality than the original ones. A saving of nearly 40% would have been realized from that deal, and the director proposed a 50% split between the two of us. This was the toughest decision I was supposed to make; in addition, either of the decisions I was to make could have a negative influence on me.
Alternative Courses of Action
I would need to work for 10 years in order to make that amount of money from my current salary; hence, it sounded like an extremely sweet deal for me. On the contrary, this would be ethically wrong, but if I did not accept the deal, I would be in a terrible situation since Mark was incredibly influential in the company (White, 2006). I feared that he would have me demoted, or even fired due to his close relationship with the company owner. On the other hand, if the deal soared, or was discovered, I would be the one on the receiving end because I was the procurement manager. Apart from losing my job, I would ruin my career and would be impossible for me to secure any other job. In fact, I would end up receiving a jail term for planning to defraud the company, and the client in question (White, 2006). It seemed that this deal would backfire on me anyway, and I did not know what to do, but I had to make the best decision of my career.
My Decision and the Reasons
What should I do, is it justified, or even ethical? Those are just a few of the questions that crossed my mind every single minute. After a careful thinking and consultation with my close friends, outside work, I finally came to a conclusion: It is morally wrong to accept benefits that are obtained illegally just for the sake of personal gains (Braswell et. al., 2012). I decided to make an ethically right decision regardless of the outcome, I declined Marks proposal. Moreover, I would have compromised my professional ethics by accepting the deal, and not even Mark would employ me or recommend me to another employer if I lost my job in that manner. This is because every person will have lost trust in me; hence, I would have ruined my professional career for life (White, 2006). Other than that, I would have risked getting a jail term for planning to defraud the company, something that would be extremely heartbreaking for me.
Outcome of the Situation
After I had declined Marks proposal for the deal, I thought that was the end of me with Alpha Construction. On the contrary, this was not the case because he has become surprisingly supporting since the occurrence of that incident. What I am not sure until now, is whether that was a scheme they had put to measure my professional ethics or not, I cannot tell. Whatever the case, I am extremely glad that I did not compromise my professional ethics, and since then I have been entrusted with additional business functions. In conclusion, I would say that it is unjustified to sacrifice one’s professional ethics because of materials gains since it is your ethical reputation that will sell you out.
Braswell, M. C., McCarthy, B. R., & McCarthy, B. J. (2012). Justice, crime, and ethics (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Anderson Publishing.
White, M. (2006). How Professional Values and Ethics can Impact Career Success. Web.