The sales representative stands to receive a 0.125 percent commission over base salary. What should the representative do?

After reading the incident provided below, you must identify the pertinent facts, define the ethical issue(s), identify all relevant stakeholders and determine how they could be impacted by the decision that will be made, identify and apply at least one principle for ethical reasoning, and then consider alternative courses of action and choose the best course of action based on stakeholder impacts and the outcome of the application of the ethical principle. Be sure to follow one of the two ethical decision-making frameworks found in the Ethical Decision Making Module. Also, review the grading rubric before beginning and before you submit.

As you have learned, stakeholders are those that are benefitted or burdened by the actions of a corporation or whose actions may benefit or burden the corporation. Some common examples of stakeholders would include customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders, and the community.

Businesses will almost always have multiple stakeholders, and many times their interests will conflict. This means that a business decision-maker will frequently have to make a decision in the face of competing claims from different stakeholders. The question of whose interests should be prioritized requires the exercise of judgment. This skill—examining competing claims and deciding which one is the strongest—is called evaluation.

You should put yourselves in each stakeholder’s position—Why do they care about the outcome of the decision? How will they be affected? What outcome would they prefer? What are their arguments in support of their preferred outcome? You will want to consider the power, urgency, and legitimacy that each stakeholder presents.


A sales representative for a large manufacturer of consumer electronics equipment headquartered in Los Angeles, California, has courted a buyer from a nationwide chain of 319 retail stores for more than a year. At company expense, the buyer was flown to Los Angeles from Trenton, New Jersey, with his spouse, for a three-day sales presentation. The company is paying all expenses for this trip and for the couple to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game and dine at fine restaurants. During the second day of meetings, the buyer discusses a one-year, $40 million order. The chain that the buyer represents has not sold the company’s products before, but once it starts, reorders are likely. At dinner that evening, the buyer mentions that he and his wife have always wanted to visit SeaWorld in San Diego. While they are in Southern California and so close, they would like to fly down. It is clear that he expects the company to pay for this trip and that he will delay making a commitment for the $40 million order until he gets a response. The company already spent $4,200 for the buyer’s trip to LA. The San Diego excursion would cost about $500. The marketing manager estimates that the company can make 9 percent gross profit on the sale. The sales representative stands to receive a 0.125 percent commission over base salary. What should the representative do?

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