A Salesman at Scottish Data Systems Limited

Ethical motives are a contemplation of one ‘s value system and are the rules that guide us worlds in our day-to-day activities as we make witting picks that correlate straight with our actions. Within the context of concern, an employee ‘s moralss govern what we do every bit good as how we arrive at the consequences of our actions. In the assigned instance survey, we are introduced to Jim Hines, a senior salesman at Scottish Data Systems Limited that has late submitted a proposal to a client based in a new, emerging selling. Told by a local authorities functionary that his proposal and pricing footings were good received but that he is strongly advised to pay a hard currency payoff of ?100,000 to procure the contract, Jim needs to do a hard decision-does he pay the payoff to the functionary or does he listen to his moral witting?

As our squad reviewed the instance survey and the deductions in this, we drew the undermentioned premises

Bribes are a common constituent to making concern in developing states

This contract is non a make-or-break concern chance for SDSL ‘s endurance

The authorities functionary is non a absolutely dependable beginning

Jim does non hold immediate entree to company financess and would necessitate to inquire for permission from his higher-ups

While the payoff is a comparatively little proportion of the expected sum contract value, we strongly rede Jim to see the serious deductions associated with the payoff and should non pay the payoff for multiple grounds, as stated below:

Jim ‘s Conscious and Value System

Corporate Conformity

Opportunities for Career Advancement

Illegal as per the UK Bribery Act

Accounting Regulations

Repute Hazard to SDSL

SDSL ‘s Current Financial Situation


Personally, Jim is non comfy at the chance of paying the payoff, and while he is cognizant of similar patterns that other companies employ in other emerging markets, his replete Tells him that this is non the right thing to make, and he has ne’er had the demand to make so to win new concern. Jim is an experient salesman with a demonstrated history of act uponing cardinal determination shapers, developing relationships, and driving gross into the house. Fall backing to bribery would cut down his self-perception of his capablenesss and gross revenues effectivity. Furthermore paying a payoff may go an indispensable portion of his future dialogues. Following clip he may fall back to bribery instead than making a good occupation at selling and negociating. Jim is experient and he should concentrate on what he can command and does best, selling. His proposal was good received by the client-not merely did he monetary value the building equipment competitively, but he besides was able to show how his house could add value to the client and the state where it is based.

Corporate Conformity

Like most organisations, SDSL has a company policy that outlines appropriate concern behavior that all associates must be in conformity with. Jim should reexamine this policy and reach the appropriate Compliance Officer or Risk Manager if he should necessitate elucidation. Should the policy non address bribes as they relate to the concern environment, Jim should intensify the issue to his senior direction for farther treatment.

Given SDSL ‘s present fiscal state of affairs, Jim recognizes the important impact that this new concern chance can hold to its house ‘s endurance, every bit good as the strategic nature of this new developing state. Jim holds conflicting personal positions of graft relation to the involvement of the house. He may non be able to render an impartial determination and should therefore prosecute his senior directors for farther way. Jim and the direction staff will necessitate to besides confer with with the board of managers that will necessitate Jim to show the issue, along with his findings and recommendations.

Career Development

From a calling development position, Jim stands to do a important feeling upon the top-level determination shapers of the house. His ability to influence and do the right thing may take to future publicity. To fix for this major presentation, Jim should make further market research to understand how concern is conducted in that developing state, and he might happen value in confer withing with outside advisers and specializers that are more familiar with the in-country patterns.

UK Bribery Act

Per the UK Bribery Act, which provides guidelines against abroad corruptness, it is illegal for UK houses to corrupt foreign functionaries. Any company involved with such actions can confront serious condemnable charges and heavy mulcts, which could invalidate whatever net incomes SDSL might derive in the short-run by paying the authorities functionary.

In the instance of Siemens Corporation, the technology pudding stone that represents the largest house in Europe, the company paid more than a‚¬420 million in payoffs. The house was later banned from making concern in markets in which they had paid bribes. Charges from the United States and Germany, along with legal and accounting fees, amounted to more than a‚¬2.5 billion, as reported in December 2008.

Similarly, British Aerospace Systems ( BAE ) was found guilty of paying more than ?1 billion payoffs to authorities functionaries in Saudi Arabia for multi-billion dollar defence contracts. BAE settled the tribunal instance and was fined in surplus of ?300 million ; the company was besides banned from carry throughing the contract or having any compensation relating to the contract. BAE ‘s legal instance cost the UK authorities more than ?2 million per annum and has negatively affected BAE ‘s public perceptual experience, which it now has to pass 1000000s in public dealingss and good will to better.

Former British senior health care executive, Robert John Dougall of De Puy International, a subordinate of Johnson & A ; Johnson, was sentenced to gaol for 12 months after he was found guilty of paying payoffs in surplus of ?4.5 million to Greek functionaries to win contracts. Dougall had arranged payments to corrupt sawboness and physicians in Greece in exchange for their concern.

Accounting Regulations

From a fiscal position, the payoff will ensue in false accounting and deceptive statements, both of which can ensue in imprisonment for up to 10 old ages and limitless mulcts, which SDSL can ill afford given its present fiscal status. Such intelligence would doubtless take to a bead in stockholder monetary value, if SDSL were a publically traded company.

Fiscal Deductions

SDSL is a extremely leveraged house that has loans that will come due sometime within the following 12 months or the following several old ages. It is hard to warrant the hard currency spending for this payoff, as the house is in desperate demand of liquidness to stay operating. Even if SDSL were to pay the payoff, the possible hard currency influxs may non come within the twelvemonth, or two old ages. Additionally, there is a cost to making business-combining the overhead disbursal along with the cost of the payoff, and factoring in the delayed hard currency influxs, SDSL may non hold the hard currency to back up run into its paysheet or other daily operating disbursals.

Repute Hazard

As a senior associate who has a proved gross revenues record, Jim may hold chances in the hereafter to come on within the house into executive-level direction. His co-workers and/or rivals may non be as supportive of his calling and hence, they may be tempted to inform members of the media or senior direction of his actions, if he were to pay the payoff. The net consequence may take to Jim ‘s dismissal or surrender from the house, and he may happen it hard to happen a new employer given such questionable judgement.

Paying for Future Business Opportunities

In the short-run, SDSL may profit from the new contract. However, in the long-run, the company will project a repute to future clients in these developing states that it is the sort of house that will “ pay for concern ” . Prospective clients may anticipate to have similar, or perchance even larger, payoffs, and other clients may non cover with SDSL.


While it is in our professional sentiment that Jim should non pay the payoff, the counterargument of paying the payoff holds several facets that Jim should see before he finalizes his determination.

Reasons that Jim might see paying the payoff:

Company ‘s Survival

Opportunity Lost

Promotion non guaranteed

Stakeholders involvement

Fiddling amount for the trade

Job Security

Paying theA payoff is frequently justified. Although Kant wouldA merely sayA ” you should non payA the payoff ” , A the justification ofA bribeA is interpretable by usage of utilitarianism. The basic rule of utilitarianism is: “ actions are right to the grade that they tend to advance the greatest good for the greatest figure. “ A That is to state, if paying the bribeA could advance “ the greatest good for the greatest figure ” , the action would be justified by utilitarianism. However, ( as already discussed, ) the “ good ” of non paying payoff exceeds the “ good ” of paying bribeA in this instance.

If SDSL were to be awarded the trade, it will enable the company to go on to remain in concern. While it is our premise that this contract is non polar, we recognize that the possible new gross would hold a enormous impact on the company. Both the house and Jim are in a unstable place as he might be in the place to maintain the house operating and procure the occupations and support of his fellow employees and his hereafter.

Losing the trade on the other manus would impede the company and perchance halt new chances in this market. SDSL is a extremely leveraged company. Losing this trade could perchance set them out of concern and do the stakeholders to lose their investing. The stakeholder ‘s assurance in SDSL will be diluted and deter new investings in this company.

If one of SDSL ‘s rivals is awarded the contract, it will hold a competitory advantage in this new market. Other clients will prefer covering with that rival.

Jim ‘s publicity to a more senior place is unsure if the trade does non happen. In fact, his occupation security might

besides be at hazard if his directors deem him incompetent at measuring high-pressure and complex state of affairss. Should SDSL travel insolvent and cease operations, he would likely experience responsible for endangering the company and the resulting loss of occupations.

In the context of the possible gross watercourse that the contract represents, ?100,000 is a fiddling amount. Jim anticipates that this contract may take to future contracts within this emerging market and other states as good. By seting to the norms of the foreign state, his actions may be considered as ethical relativism, i.e. “ When in Rome, do as the Romans. ” Jim ‘s action would hence be acceptable as the pattern of paying payoffs for concern is portion of the societal norm and he is carry oning concern in conformity to the local mores and imposts.

Another manner to explicate Jim ‘s quandary is through the construct of Utilitarianism. If Jim were to pay the payoff, his action-though questionable in most Western countries-would be considered moral because he would be paying the payoff to procure the contract, which is worth an tremendous watercourse of new gross, and hence he would positively impact the greatest good for the greatest sum of people ( his chap employees, stakeholders, clients, and himself ) .


While there are obliging grounds for both possible options, it is in the best involvement of Jim and SDSL to non pay the payoff. The hazard of devaluing SDSL ‘s repute and endangering its hereafter is far excessively huge, if it were charged for the paying of foreign payoffs. The authorities legal action that would take topographic point and the media coverage followed thenceforth. Geting a twosome contracts now seems really of import, but think of the major downstream consequence it could hold on the concern. Jim we strongly advise you non to pay the payoff and believe about the hereafter SDSL.


“ The Siemens syndrome ” , The Economist ; April 16, 2007

“ Record US all right ends Siemens graft dirt ” , The Guardian, December 16, 2008

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/16/regulation-siemens-scandal-bribery

* Grecian graft instance ( J & A ; J )

“ The BAE files ” , The Guardian ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.guardian.co.uk/world/bae )

Business Ethical motives work stuff, Full-time MBA class at University of Edinburgh, Dr. James A.H.S. Hine