MGT 312 , Decision Making and Problem solving

management case study and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

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Business EthicsCase Study: Protect YourCompany or Your Cousin? by Joseph L. BadaraccoFrom the Magazine (MarchÐApril 2021)Bianca Bagnarelli After a long week, all Marguerite Espinoza wanted to do was shutdown her computer. It was 5:30 on Friday afternoon, and sheÕdjust finished her workday as a customer experience manager atSpring Fire, a manufacturer of outdoor smokeless firepits. But shewas supposed to log in to her extended familyÕs weekly Zoom call,a tradition theyÕd started at the beginning of the pandemic.16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 1 of 15
00:00  /  20:13Listen to this articleTry the Noa app. First 6 months free.ItÕll be funÑit always is, she told herself as she searched for thelink in her calendar. Most weeks she looked forward to the virtualgathering. It was chaotic, with up to eight households logging on,but it was a nice way to catch up with everyone and transitionaway from work into the weekend.As soon as the faces of her parents, grandparents, sister, aunts,uncles, and cousins popped up, she was glad sheÕd joined. Butabout 20 minutes into the call, she noticed that one cousin, LindaGarbes, seemed distracted, maybe even upset.She and Linda considered each other friends more than family.They had hung out at family gatherings since they were little andhad kept in touch through college. Now they were both 26, andeven though Marguerite was still in Houston and Linda hadmoved to Tulsa, they texted regularly.Marguerite pinged Linda now: You OK? You look sad.Linda replied right away: ItÕs just work stuff.Marguerite knew LindaÕs employer well; in fact, sheÕd helped hercousin get the job at Colter Metals, a custom manufacturer ofparts for fans, blowers, and compressors. Colter suppliedMargueriteÕs company with two key parts used in the fans onSpring FireÕs firepits. A year earlier, when Marguerite realizedthat Colter was based in Tulsa and saw on its LinkedIn page thatthe company was hiring, she had encouraged Linda, an116/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 2 of 15
accounting major, to apply for work in the finance department.Colter was a long-standing and critical supplier, and Spring Firewas about to renew its contract.Marguerite and Linda had agreed early on not to talk to each otherabout work. They wanted to keep familyÑand their friendshipÑseparate from their employersÕ business. And theyÕd managed tostay true to that commitment. So when Linda mentioned work,Marguerite didnÕt probe. Instead she wrote, IÕm sorry. LMK if I canhelp.An hour later, after sheÕd logged off Zoom, her phone buzzed witha text from Linda: Actually, can u talk? Marguerite called her rightaway. ÒOK,Ó Linda said as soon as sheÕd answered. ÒIf I tell yousomething, will you promise not to tell anyone?ÓMarguerite agreed. Linda explained that Colter had laid off 30% ofits staff earlier that dayÑmostly on the production sideÑleavingher completely shocked.ÒYou had no idea that was coming?Ó Marguerite asked.ÒNo,Ó Linda said, sounding teary. ÒI thought the company wasdoing fine, but apparently our biggest customer just canceled itscontract with us.ÓÒI thought Spring Fire was your biggest customer.ÓÒYÕall are second.ÓMarguerite felt queasy. Her mind went immediately to what thiscould mean for her employer. Spring Fire was already six weeksbehind on orders, and winter was just beginning. As a customerexperience manager, she had to script language explaining the216/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 3 of 15
back orders. Earlier that day sheÕd drafted copy promising thatany order placed before the end of November would be deliveredby February 1. Would the situation with Colter jeopardize thatpromise?ÒIÕm serious about not telling anyone, Rita,Ó Linda said, usingMargueriteÕs family nickname. ÒIf Spring Fire gets cold feet anddoesnÕt sign that renewal, I donÕt think Colter will make it.ÓÒBut will you all be able to meet the delivery dates in the contractwith 30% fewer people?ÓÒI donÕt know,Ó Linda said. ÒBut IÕm more worried about my jobright now.ÓMarguerite felt guilty that sheÕd been so focused on Spring Fire.Of course she was worried about her cousin, too. But Linda had toknow that Marguerite would consider the implications for hercompany and her own job.DelaysThe following Monday, Marguerite was relieved to be in the office.Spring Fire employees were allowed to go in on a rotatingschedule, and sheÕd signed up for Mondays. Just a few employeeswere on-site each day, but she liked to see them, even if just theireyes above their masks.She unpacked her laptop and waved hello to two colleagues fromthe finance department, who were chatting in cubicles a couple ofrows away from her. Because they were maintaining distancefrom each other, Marguerite could overhear their conversation,which happened to be about the Colter contract renewal.316/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 4 of 15
ÒThey came back with another ask this morning,Ó one said. ÒTheywant to extend the contract by a year.ÓÒDo you think Martha will go for it?Ó the other asked, referring toMartha Springer, the firmÕs founder and CEO.ÒI know she wants to preserve that relationship. The list ofalternative suppliers is short.ÓMarguerite thought about the risk dashboard that Martha alwaysshared at their weekly all-hands meeting. Although most of theboxes were green or yellow, the supply-chain box had been red forthe past few weeks. Many of the companyÕs key inputs weresourced externally, and everyone knew that presented its greatestrisk. Previous attempts to source the same parts that Colter madefrom China and Bangladesh had failed: Those products barelymet industry standards and definitely didnÕt meet Spring FireÕsquality criteria. After a lot of searching and false starts, the headof product had found a viable supplier in Mexico. But many atthe company were hesitant to use that option, because Spring Firehad made a point of marketing its products as fully made in theU.S.A.During the all-hands meetings, the head of procurement typicallyexplained everything that was being done to mitigate anypotential halt in production. Martha would reframe the issue andreassure her employees. ÒAn abundance of orders is a goodproblem to have,Ó sheÕd say, pointing out the steep andencouraging climb in sales.Luckily, MargueriteÕs colleagues now changed the subject quickly.One of them shrugged and said, ÒIÕm not sure that it mattersanyway. WeÕre so well positioned. Did you see last weekÕs4516/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 5 of 15
numbers?ÓÒAmazing, right? Now, if we can just ship those orders before2022!Ó They both laughed and then smiled at Marguerite, whomanaged a small chuckle.If Colter was struggling, could Spring Fire meet the demand?Delivery times would certainly push backÑagainÑdespite alltheir hard work, and the companyÕs reputation would suffer. ItwasnÕt the only manufacturer in this space, and although it didoffer a unique patented fan to further reduce smoke, it wasunclear whether consumers appreciated that differentiator.Just then Patrick Cullen, the chief marketing officer andMargueriteÕs boss, walked into his cubicle a few rows over andspoke loudly from behind his mask: ÒGood weekend, Marguerite?ÓShe gave him a thumbs-up. ÒAnything I should know before I divein?ÓShe hesitated and then shook her head.Family First?That night Marguerite texted her mom, Angela: Free to talk?Her mom FaceTimed her right away and said, ÒWhatÕs wrong?You never want to talk on the phone.ÓIt was true. MargueriteÕs mom always kept her on the phone muchlonger than she would like. But she really needed advice. Sherecounted the Friday night call with Linda and explained thatsheÕd spent most of the weekend agonizing about what to do. Shedescribed how guilty sheÕd felt at the office earlier.16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 6 of 15
ÒDo you feel like you owe Patrick and the company yourloyalty?Ó her mother asked. Patrick had taken a chance by hiringher three years earlier when she had close to zero experience incustomer service or marketing. Since then heÕd been her tirelessadvocate.ÒI guess so. Though if things go south with Colter and Spring Fire,itÕs not like he or anyone else will wonder if I knew.ÓÒYou donÕt think he will?Ó Angela asked. ÒHe knows your cousinworks there, right?ÓIndeed, Marguerite had been excited when Linda got the job andhad shared the news with Patrick. She remembered now that heÕdactually made a throwaway joke about how nice it was to have aspy at one of their suppliers. SheÕd laughed but then assuredPatrick that she and her cousin had agreed not to talk shop.ÒI know, Mom. And I know what youÕre going to say. You donÕteven have to say it.ÓÒWhat am I going to say, smarty-pants?ÓÒFamily comes first.ÓWhen her mother shook her head, Marguerite was surprised.ÒCÕmon, thatÕs always been our motto,Ó she said.ÒBut I didnÕt mean that family comes before yourself,Ó Angelasaid. ÒIt could be you out of a job if you all canÕt deliver on thoseorders. Or if Spring Fire finds out you knew about this problemand didnÕt say anything. I donÕt think it was fair of Linda to tellyou. YouÕd agreed to not talk about work.ÓMarguerite was shocked. SheÕd been sure that her mother would6716/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 7 of 15
tell her to keep her promise. If Colter didnÕt meet its obligations,Spring Fire could rightly cancel the contract and go with thesupplier in Mexico. It would be a huge headache, of course, butthe company would be OK. And assuming that Patrick andMartha werenÕt furious with her, Marguerite would still beemployed.ÒSo all bets are off?Ó she asked Angela. ÒI can betray Linda?ÓÒNo, not necessarily. IÕm just saying itÕs more complicated thandeciding between Linda and your company. If keeping this secretmeans you risk your reputation, I think you know where I stand.ÓTo Send or Not to Send?That night Marguerite drafted an email to Patrick and Marthawith the subject line ÒImportant information about ColterMetals.ÓBecause of a family connection to Colter (which Patrick isaware of), I learned on Friday that the company had to layoff a significant portion of its staff and may not be able tomeet the commitments laid out in the contract renewal. Ithought Spring Fire should know before that contract issigned. This information was shared in confidence, so IÕd askthat you not attribute it to me in any conversations withColter.She read the draft several times and even allowed herself toimagine how good it would feel to press Send, knowing that thehigher-ups would hugely appreciate her warning them about sucha risk. The word ÒheroÓ popped into her head for a moment. But816/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 8 of 15
then she deleted the message, removed MarthaÕs email addressfrom the ÒToÓ field, and wrote, Patrick, can we talk? ItÕs kind ofurgent.As she hovered her mouse over the Send button, she thoughtabout Linda. This click could end their friendship and createfamily drama. Would it be worth it?The Experts Respond: Should Marguerite tell her bosswhat she knows about Colter Metals?Bianca Bagnarelli Stacey Peck is a solutions associate at Spencer Stuart.MargueriteÕs priority should be protecting herself and heremployer. If she stays silent, she could be putting Spring FireÕsfuture at risk and herself and her colleagues out of a job. Hercompany and Colter MetalsÑand all their respective employeesÑwould be in a sinking ship together. Nobody wants that.16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 9 of 15
Linda has certainly put her in a tough situation, and Marguerite isunderstandably worried that sharing the information aboutColterÕs layoffs will betray her cousinÕs trust. But I believe she hasan obligation to tell Patrick what sheÕs learned. And I think shecan do so in a way that doesnÕt damage her family relationships.Rather than send an email, she should pick up the phone and callher boss. Without explaining how she got the information, shecan say that sheÕs heard a rumor that Colter Metals is strugglingand suggest that he inquire about the situation. ItÕs importantthat she admit that she doesnÕt have all the facts and that ColterÕsleadership may well have a contingency plan. But Spring Fireshould look into this before it renews the contract. Even if Patricksuspects that Marguerite got the information from Linda, shedoesnÕt have to implicate her cousin outright.This case reminded me of a group of friends I made at work manyyears ago. There were eight of us, and although weÕve sincetransferred to other locations or changed companies, weÕve stayedvery close. One of those friends is now on the legal team at myorganization, which means sheÕs privy to news and developmentsthat she canÕt pass along. We have an unspoken agreement thatwe wonÕt compromise either our careers or our friendship bysharing confidential information, and weÕve never broken it.Linda violated the arrangement she made with Marguerite andcanÕt now expect her to hide information material to her companyand her job.It may well be that Linda is making ColterÕs layoffs a bigger dealthan they actually are. But to know whether thatÕs true,Marguerite needs to take action. That includes telling Linda thatshe felt she had to share the news even as she took pains to avoidimplicating her. It will be a tough conversation, but she needs to16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 10 of 15
be up-front. She can explain that she never mentioned her cousinand acknowledge that many supply chains have been disruptedduring the pandemic, so itÕs perfectly normal for customers to asksuppliersÑeven unpromptedÑwhether anything might preventthem from delivering on their promises.IÕm a relationship person, and I would never do anythingknowingly to harm a bond with a friend or a family member. Butin this case, I think Marguerite can do right both by Linda and bySpring Fire. Their interests are less at odds than she thinks.Mita Mallick is the head of inclusion, equity, and impact atCarta.Marguerite shouldnÕt say anything to Patrick, Martha, or anyoneelse at Spring Fire. I understand the temptation to share theinformation Linda gave her, but doing so wonÕt reflect well on herand may cause more trouble than itÕs worth.IÕve twice been in a similar situation. Early in my career I becamefriendly with a woman who worked in HR at the same company.She and I went out for drinks, and after getting a little tipsy, shetold me that the company was restructuring and a good friend ofmine was going to be laid off. Like Linda, my colleague asked menot to say anything. I struggled with what to do but eventuallydecided to keep the information to myself, and IÕm glad I did. Therestructuring got pushed out by three months, and my friendended up leaving the company before then. Had I told her what IknewÑinformation that turned out to be inaccurateÑit wouldhave caused her a lot of unnecessary stress.16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 11 of 15
Later in my career, when I was at a consumer packaged goodscompany, someone in my network told me that one of themarketing agencies we worked closely with had been invited topitch for our biggest competitor. (Conflict-of-interest normsprevented the agency from doing business with both of us.) Itrusted the information but, again, hesitated to act on it.Eventually our agency reps told us that theyÕd had a chance to gothrough the RFP process with our competitor and had talked tothe company but declined to proceed. As before, had I shared theinformation internally, it would have caused a stir for no reason.My experience has taught me that itÕs better to wait and let thingsplay out, especially if you canÕt be sure the information isaccurate. During the pandemic, situations are fluid. Leaders areplanning and replanning, pivoting, firing, and sometimesrehiring. It may be that ColterÕs leadership team feels that itÕsadvantageous to do layoffs now but plans to bring many peopleback later on. Linda isnÕt a senior leader and may not be privy tothe full picture. ItÕs also possible that fear of losing her job keepsher from seeing the situation clearly.If Marguerite shares the information and Spring Fire uses it tomake a decision, such as going with the Mexican supplier, butLindaÕs facts were wrong or incomplete and the problems atColter blow over, there could be serious downstreamconsequences.Also, if I were Patrick and my employee shared intel from hercousin that she had promised to keep secret, it would give mepause. IÕd wonder whether I could trust her to keep informationabout Spring Fire confidential. What if the roles were reversed,and Spring Fire planned to discontinue the product that uses16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 12 of 15
Colter MetalsÕ parts? Would Marguerite tell Linda? Patrick mightget the impression that sheÕs loyal only when itÕs convenient orbeneficial to her.One thing Marguerite could do is encourage Linda to talk toColterÕs management about being forthright with Spring Fire.ThatÕs part of being a good partner and supplier: letting yourcustomers know when thereÕs a problem, whether itÕs a part out ofstock, a fire in your warehouse, or financial stress due to a lostcontract. IÕd bet Martha would respond positively to that candor.So Marguerite should sit tight for now. IÕd remind her that jobsand employers come and go, so your time and energy are betterspent focusing on the relationships you want to keep.Case Study Classroom NotesÒSmokelessÓ firepits still produce smoke, but they reduce it throughdesign and engineering that manages airflow. Some, like SpringFireÕs, use fans.Is this a fair question to ask someone who doesnÕt know what youÕreabout to say?Do back orders signal to consumers that a product is in high demandand therefore more desirable, or do they frustrate shoppers whomight take their business elsewhere?In the wake of Covid-19, experts have urged companies to make theirsupply chains more resilient by identifying vulnerabilities anddiversifying their supplier bases.Is it smart for the CEO to focus her team on the order increases whiledownplaying the potential fulfillment risks?12345616/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 13 of 15
To what extent should we feel a duty to our employers? And can weexpect that loyalty to be returned?Does knowing that she wonÕt be found out lessen her obligation tosay something?Does the fact that Linda violated their pact to not talk about workmean that Marguerite doesnÕt need to keep her promise of silence?HBRÕs Þctionalized case studies present problems faced by leaders in realcompanies and offer solutions from experts. This one is based on the HBScase study ÒThe AnalystÕs DilemmaÓ (case no. 394056-PDF-ENG), byJoseph L. Badaracco and Jerry Useem.A version of this article appeared in the MarchÐApril 2021 issue of HarvardBusiness Review.Joseph L. Badaracco is the John ShadProfessor of Business Ethics at HarvardBusiness School, where he has taught courseson leadership, strategy, corporateresponsibility, and management. His books onthese subjects include New York Timesbestseller Leading Quietly, Defining Moments,and his latest book, Step Back: How to Bring theArt of Reflection into Your Busy Life (HBR Press,2020).678Recommended For YouHow to Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown16/01/2023, 2:16 PMPage 14 of 15
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Decision Making and Problem Solving (MGT 312)
The Assignment must be submitted only in WORD format via allocated folder.
to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced for poor presentation.

All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font.
Learning Outcomes:
Define different perspectives and concepts of problem solving in diverse contexts and business situations. (C.L.O :1.2)
Demonstrate effective leadership skills and teamwork capacity for efficient decision making with the problem owners and other stakeholders as either a team member or a team leader. (C.L.O :3.1)
Analyze ethical issues and dilemmas that businesses often face and employ ethical standards in all manners and circumstances. (C.L.O :3.2)
Assignment Instructions for Part-I:
Log in to Saudi Digital Library (SDL) via University’s website
On first page of SDL, choose “English Databases”
From the list find and click on EBSCO database.
In the search bar of EBSCO find the following article:
Title: “Case Study: Protect Your Company or Your Cousin?”
Author: by Joseph L. Badaracco
Date of Publication: March,2021
Published: Harvard Business Review
Identify the causes of problem based on the following techniques? [Marks 3]
Cause of the problem- 5 Why Technique
Develop a Cause-and-Effect Diagram
What information should you gather, that would be helpful to know before making decision? [Mark 1]
Develop a mind map for decision making, [2 Marks]
Write all the alternative choices of your decision. As HR Manager, what will be your decision to resolve this issue and why? [Mark 2]
Weighing the alternatives [Marks 2]
When weighing the various alternatives, how well each alternative fulfills the variables to consider can be expressed as scores. A different rating scale will be used to assess each alternative:
Note: Positive numbers (+2 or +1) indicate that the alternative is able to fulfill the variables, whereas negative numbers (-2 or -1) denote the opposite.
Write the conclusion and overall assessment. [Marks 2]
HR Manager may face Ethical dilemma in resolving the issue and finding solutions. What could be possible ethical issues in the above case? [Marks 2]

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