Lenhage AG: Ethical Dilemma
(5 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In 2012, the general manager at the Seoul location of a European manufacturing company faces an ethical dilemma involving bribery and “facilitation” payments. A key decision maker in a local construction company’s purchasing department has asked for a “facilitation” payment as a necessary condition for securing an order. If the expatriate manager decides to pay the money, he will secure an order that will lift his company to a new level of success for years to come. If he decides not to pay, the order and all the company has worked for over the last year will be lost. The expatriate manager must decide whether or not the payment would violate laws internationally, locally and in his home country. What are the real risks? Who can help him answer the many questions he has regarding this local practice?
This case illustrates an ethical decision-making issue by presenting a realistic scenario that countless expatriate managers have and will continue to find themselves in, particularly in developing countries. It can be used for MBA or senior undergraduate courses on international management, ethical decision making and strategic management. There are a number of learning objectives for the case:
To demonstrate that ethical decisions must be made with less than perfect information.
- To think about and identify all stakeholders in any given ethics situation.
- To demonstrate that any course of action can have both positive and negative consequences for most stakeholders.
To allow students to work through the logical steps in evaluating any question or problem related to ethics.
South Korea, Large, 2012
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