Osborn Diversified Products, Inc., is a billion-dollar manufacturing company with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. The company has 15 divisions, two of which are the Battery Division and the Golf Cart Division. The company’s Battery Division supplies the Golf Cart Division with batteries used to power electric carts.
Jim Peterson, age 45, is the general manager of the Battery Division. Jim has been with the company for 18 years and has done a remarkable job managing his operations. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, his physician has ordered that he take early retirement effective immediately. Jim is the single parent of a daughter who is currently a sophomore at a private university in Boston.
Have a group discussion and come to an agreement on the following issues:
a. Will this billion-dollar company be significantly damaged by the error in computing Jim’s bonus? If you were in Jim’s situation, what would you do? Defend your answer.
b. Assume that Sara becomes aware of the error one week prior to her retirement. She remains bitter over the criticism and sexist remarks she has received from the company’s CEO, yet she is basically an honest person. What would you do if you were Sara?
c. Is it ethical for Jim’s attorney to suggest—albeit off the record—that Jim keep the money? What would you do if you were Jim’s attorney?
d. Assume that you are Jim’s daughter, who attends a private Boston university. You have learned that the only chance your father has of keeping you enrolled at this prestigious institution is to subsidize your tuition with the excess $40,000 he received from his company. However, if you were to transfer back to Ohio and live at home, there would be sufficient funds to pay for your education. What would you do in this situation? Defend your answer.