Case Analysis 1: Sales Hype
Question 1: Describe the situation faced by Kara.
Kara is faced with a difficult situation at work when she finds out one of her coworkers is being dishonest with one of her customers. Sally confronts Kara about lying and speaking to one of her customers without her knowing about it. Kara’s co-worker Sally uses “hype” as an excuse and tries to justify that it’s a good way to gain sales. Sally believes that if bending the rules and lying to customers profits the store, it’s ok.
Kara realizes this is unethical and wants to confront her managers about the situation. Kara has performance appraisals coming up and decides that this may be a good time to speak to her managers about Sally. When Kara discloses her situation to a different co-worker, he warns her that it’s a bad idea to tell the managers because it may make her look bad.
Kara is now faced with the ultimate dilemma. Does Kara speak to her bosses about her concern with Sally’s method of selling or does she leave it be and let Sally continue using her way of “hype”?
Question 2: What would you do if you were Kara?
If I were Kara, I would give Sally the opportunity to tell the managers herself. She has the right to tell them and ask if this is an appropriate way of selling. She would have to hear it for herself in order to understand that this is the wrong way of selling. If Sally chose to ignore the situation, I would confront the managers myself after the performance appraisals were completed.
The situation needs to be brought up because it could end up damaging the stores reputation. The store is responsible for its employee’s actions and maintaining social responsibility. Sally is making unethical decisions and putting the store at risk. Although Sally believes that her methods are reasonable, the end results could lead to some serious consequences.
I’ve been in sales and retail for the past 5 years and understand that these situations need to be taken care of in a professional manner. I would never gossip about Sally, nor would I say anything negative about her to other coworkers. I would explain my dilemma to upper management and why I feel her method of selling is unethical. I would express my feelings and explain that I believe it could damage the stores reputation. I would explain that I believe Sally should be given a second chance, but with a more ethical selling method.