Case Study, Ethics

When in Rome
Alexander Gavin is a Senior Project Manager for the EL Sahd Construction Company in Kuwait. The company is rich, renowned, well-organized and cost effective. Two month back the company bid $30 million on a project in Iran to be the principle subcontractor. They had built a huge profit in it and they also expected to bargain with Ajax Ltd, the British based company asking for the bid. However when Alexander Gavin met up with the manager of Ajax, the manager told him they would get the job if they made the bid $33 million; giving the reason that $1 million would go straight to the pocket of Ajax Ltds Managing Director in London, he would keep $1 million for himself and the other $1 million to Alexanders account. The reason for Alexander Gavin receiving a share; he doesn\’t talk about this transaction with anyone. If he does; he is told he will suffer both physically and professionally. Alexander is given a choice, bid the 33 million and take his cut or bid the $30 million and take his chances. This notion of bribery went against what Alexander believed to be ethical. Alexander expresses his reluctance to move forward with an inflated bid. The manager looks at Alexander and says this is how things are done here. You have to pay to play. This is the culture of business in our country. Alexander knows this project is very profitable and company wouldn\’t want to lose this opportunity. On the other hand he has heard of cases like this in which if a bidder fails to cooperate then the threats of personal or professional harm might get carried out. Alexander Gavin is very well aware that this is indeed the practice in this country. For this reason this situation has left him mixed with the common morality and he doesn\’t know what to do.

Apply the theory of Cultural Relativism
Apply the ABCDs of Ethical Decision Making
What are his (Alexander) choices?
What should he do?
What would you do?

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