You are the sales manager of a two-year-old electronics firm. At times, the firm has seemed to be on the brink of failure but recently has begun to be profitable. In large part, the profitability is due to the aggressive and talented sales force you recruited. Two months ago, you hired Alice North, an honors graduate from State University who decided that she was tired of the research department and wanted to try sales. Almost immediately after you send Alice out for training with Brad West, your best salesperson, he begins reporting to you an unexpected turn of events. According to Brad, “Alice is terrific: she’s confident, smooth, and persistent. Unfortunately, a lot of our buyers are good old boys who just aren’t comfortable around young, bright women. Just last week, Hiram Jones, one of our biggest customers, told me that he simply won’t continue to do business with ‘young chicks’ who think they invented the world. It’s not that Alice is a know-it-all. She’s not. It’s just that these guys like to booze it up a bit, tell some off-color jokes, and then get down to business. Alice doesn’t drink, and although she never objects to the jokes, it’s clear she thinks they’re offensive.” Brad believes that several potential deals have fallen through “because the mood just wasn’t right with Alice there.” Brad adds, “I don’t like a lot of these guys’ styles myself, but I go along to make the sales. I just don’t think Alice is going to make it.” When you call Alice in to discuss the situation, she concedes the accuracy of Brad’s report but indicates that she’s not to blame and insists that she be kept on the job. You feel committed to equal opportunity but do not want to jeopardize your company’s ability to survive. What should you do?
The following are the evidences that support the arguments:
The ethical theory of Utilitarianism is applicable, which arises mainly due to a multitude of legal and moral aspects. Laws follow equal opportunity to all, thereby supporting the first choice. This enables the workforce to challenge an organization that discriminates on the basis of gender in recruitment and promotional activities.
When the organization focuses on the profitability quotient, the avoidance of sending the Individual A is reasonable. An organization that is already incurring losses cannot ignore the specific needs of clients, or it will end up in an economic crisis.
Giving specific accounts to Individual A addresses both the economic and legal issues. It supports the legal rights of Individual A, along with justifying the profitability of the organization whose existence is at issue. It also utilizes all the employees, while taking care of the needs of both the employees and clients at the same time.
The organization can make either of the following choices:
The organization can send Individual A to all the sales meetings.
Individual B and other salespeople should be sent to all the sales meetings.
Individual A can be allotted the sales accounts in which gender is not an issue, while the rest of the sales accounts can be taken care of by Individual B.
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