Write a fictitious status report based on the week you went to meet with the ad agencies. (See the examples in the Drive.) Use the information you already created for your memo to me – the CEO. This document’s audience does not need all of the detail you gave to me but they do need to be updated (people on your marketing team, for example.)
Next – the ethical memo
Here is where the information from the reading from last week continues into this week. Read the pages from the text book starting on page 24 as outlined in the email.
Outline of the case
You have recently become Head of Finance at Pop Chips, a company which provides snack foods and catering services to the public sector. Your previous employer was Crowley Widgets International
where, as finance manager, you had the opportunity to work on areas relating to financial
accounting, procurement, contracts and bids.
One of Pop Chips’ major contracts is with Crowley Widgets International. The contract is now up for renewal, and Crowley Widgets Incorporated is preparing a competitive bid for this contract. You have been asked to lead the team responsible for bidding for this contract, but you are concerned that you might breach confidentiality if you accept this assignment. You also suspect that your
knowledge and experience of Crowley Widgets International was seen as good reasons for appointing you to the position at Pop Chips.
You do not want to let your new employer down. The loss of such a major contract would have
a significant effect on the financial performance of Pop Chips and its performance-related
bonus scheme for management.
Keys to think about:
Objectivity: Can you safeguard against the significant self-interest threat which arises from
Crowley Incorporated performance-related bonus scheme?
Confidentiality: If you accept this assignment, can you ensure that you do not use confidential
information relating to your previous employer to your advantage or to the advantage of your
Professional behavior: What can you do to safeguard your reputation and the reputation of
your employer and your profession?
Identify relevant facts:
Your previous employment with Crowley International has provided you with information which may be of value to Pop Chips. You must consider your professional body’s code of ethics,
applicable laws and regulations, your current and previous contracts of employment, and your
employer’s policies and procedures. A self-interest threat arises because of the impact that
losing Crowley Widgets International contract would have on Pop Chips’ financial performance and reward policy. You may also be feeling that you would like to impress your new employer and help to make a successful bid for the renewal of the contract.
Identify affected parties:
Key affected parties are you, your line manager and the board. Other employees in the
company may be affected due to the financial implications of the contract not being renewed.
Who should be involved in the resolution:
Your line manager, other relevant staff and, if necessary, the board should be involved.
Possible course of action
The principle of confidentiality prohibits the use of confidential information acquired as a result
of your previous employment for your advantage or that of your current employer. While you
have a responsibility to advance the legitimate aims of your employing organization, this
should not extend to a breach of confidentiality. In this case, you (because of Pop Chips’ performance-related bonus) and Pop Chips stand to benefit from the confidential information about how bids are assessed at Shenandoah International.
The principle would not be breached if you were in possession of information that was in the public
domain, or if you were simply to use experience gained in your previous employment, so long
as you do not use confidential knowledge that you acquired as a result of that employment.
You should discuss the situation and your obligations with your line manager in the first
instance, and ask for your involvement in the preparation of the contract bid to be limited.
For example, you may be able to contribute to aspects of the bid that do not require you to refer to
confidential knowledge about your previous employment. If your line manager fails to
understand the conflict that you are facing, you should request that you both discuss the
matter with a director or other member of staff. During these discussions, you should refer to
the company’s ethical code, if it has one, as well as that of your professional body.
If there are no other formal channels available, you should make the board aware of your
If necessary, you must refuse to take part in the bid without necessary safeguards
being implemented. Ultimately, disassociating yourself from Pop Chips may be the only
solution. However, before taking such a step, you should seek legal advice on your employment
rights and responsibilities(subject to the rules and guidance of your professional body).
You should document, in detail, the steps that you take in resolving your dilemma, in case your
ethical judgement is challenged in the future. Looking at this issue from Pop Chips’
perspective, it may be appropriate to suggest to your line manager that a policy on conflicts of
interest be developed and that the remuneration and bonus policy be reviewed in light of this.
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