A Case-let on Business and Personal Ethics

Mohammed completed his bachelors in engineering from a renowned institute in the Middle East. He learnt the nuances of engineering, business and IT, after which he decided to join a conglomerate having operations all over the world. He was put into the procurement division of the heavy earth moving equipment Strategic Business Unit (SBU) of the company. Mohammed started to make his presence felt owing to his determination, hard work and team playing attitude. His integrity and ethical moves made him the cynosure of all the eyes, including the competitors in the marketplace. These qualities brought him instant fame and recognition and Mohammed was promoted within a very short period of time. The success achieved within a short span of time made him strive hard to reach his goals, vis-a-vis those of the organization. However, at times he was at loggerheads, especially when he tried to superimposes his own aspirations with those of the organization. He realized that the growth curve of an employee in the organization were based on a whole lot of factors, including the hard work put in by the concerned employee. This led to the development of a unique feeling within himself and he thought he was getting stagnant within the organization. At times he was contemplating to quit and join some other organization so that he continue his fast career progression, witnessed in the existing company. But he had to shelve those plan, considering the adulation and respect he commanded in the present organization, not to forget the instant recognition he got after joining the behemoth. Moreover, the global recognition of the brand he was associated to compelled him to stick around with the current employer. This led to an ethical dilemma as he visualized getting involved in unethical practices, which would bring him additional monetary rewards. Being the head of procurement, he was the final authority when it came to opting for a vendor who is responsible for supplying the raw materials of his organization. Unlike in the past when his tendering process was transparent and democratic, the new methodology adopted by him was opaque and barring a few of close associates nobody knew about the details of the supplier or their produce. The kickback he started to receive from those suppliers made him happy and he was happy continuing in his exiting role, even without a promotion or recognition, the sole motivator during his early days. Days, months and years went by, and Mohammed was minting money and accumulating wealth at a brisk pace. Even his social circles were at loss of words to explain his sudden change in the societal status. People started to doubt his activities within and outside the organization, which culminated in a customer lodging a complaint after one of the products manufactured by Mohammed’s company had busted during one the major operations . This led to an enquiry, which revealed the malpractices involved in the procurement process of the raw materials. Mohammed was caught red-handed, but the top management was still not ready to buy the agreement that one of their most ethical, upright employee would turnaround for the worse, so fast. Mohammed was finally shown the door and was also imprisoned for a month owing to the illegal trade practices brought in the industry.

Key Issues for Discussion

(1) Analyze the case-let and decipher Mohammed personality right from the beginning till the end.

(2)Why did his persona undergo a sudden change?

(3)How did the ethical issues alter his organizational behaviour?

(4)What would you have done, if you were asked to counsel Mohammed?

(5)How was education responsible for Mohammed’s behaviours?

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About manishankarscribbles

A management trainer, consultant and faculty with experiences in South Asia, Middle East and Australasia. I am also present in www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com and www.twitter.com/manitwitts apart from https://manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com .
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