Ahmed Kasadi has just been told the company’s senior human resources officer would like to speak with him on a conference call. Ahmed is the Afghanistan in-country manager for a large US based corporation, and recently reported his concerns about company employees bribing government officials to get a $500 million dollar contract. Ahmed has been with the company for 10 years and knows how seriously the company takes its ethics policy. More importantly, Ahmed’s family was born in this region and he had developed a local reputation for supporting economic development. The company had engaged in bribery activities in the past that resulted in millions of dollars in fines from the US government. When he took over his current job, he had every employee in the country retrained on the ethics policy, and held monthly status updates on ethics activities. Now, with this new issue, Ahmed was sure the HR officer wanted to talk with him about being a model for integrity.
To his surprise, Ahmed is told by the HR officer that he had signed an agreement to handle all disputes internally, and he should not discuss this issue with anyone outside the company. Ahmed believed that the current bribery activity was not only against the law, and contradicted the ethics policy, but if the contract was awarded and the bribery was later revealed, the company would face serious financial and goodwill losses.
Several weeks go by as Ahmed mulls this situation over. He then contacts his manager to express his concerns. His boss considers that the kinds of activities Ahmed is concerned about fall into a gray area. In this part of the world, “commissions”, and “consulting fees” are just a normal part of doing business. He tells Ahmed to drop the issue and concentrate more on meeting his business objectives. Ahmed, continues to raise concerns, and eventually receives a bad performance review. Several months pass and the company is awarded the contract. Shortly thereafter, Ahmed sues the company under a provision of the law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and is subsequently fired by his boss.
Consider Ahmed’s predicament and his actions. In your 200–300-word response, address the following:
- What are the major ethical issues in this scenario?
- Did Ahmed handle this situation appropriately? Why, or why not?
- Did Ahmed use the proper chain of command?
- What aspects of the leading and controlling functions of management were demonstrated in this scenario?
- Include an example from your experience where you or someone else acted with integrity in spite of the possibility of personal negative repercussions.