Case #4: The Scaffold Plank
a. John White offered a job to Bob at White Lumbar Company as a trader which involved buying and selling lumbar. Bob received a call from Stan Parrish at Quality Lumbar who said he needed a price and availability of 600 pieces of 3x12 doug fir rough sawn 2 and better grade 16 feet long. Bob gave him the price of $470 per thousand feet and Stan said the firm order would probably be in that afternoon. A half-hour later his partner, Mike, asked if he got any inquiries about a truck of 16-foot scaffold plank. This alarmed Bob because the similarities between that and Stan’s order were no coincidence. Scaffold planks are held to a much higher and specific standard than just any regular lumbar and White Lumbar did not carry scaffold plank. Bob discussed the issue with Mike where Mike tried to convince Bob that is was probably no big deal and that Bob shouldn’t call Stan to clarify that they were not using the lumbar as scaffold plank. Mike said this because he didn’t want to ruin the relations between White Lumbar and Quality and that they would no longer have legal defense if that were in fact the case. Bob decided to call Stan back and discovered that the lumbar was in fact going to be used as scaffold plank. Stan made his case that the quality of lumbar would be just fine since there is nothing cheaper or locally available on such short notice. The next morning John White called Bob into his office to tell him that they accepted the order on Bob’s behalf. They had some conflict back and forth about the ethics of the decision. Bob said that they were ethically responsible to follow up with the order because they had a responsibility to their customers. John made the case that he has seen much worse in this business and that the company’s only responsibility is to sell lumbar that is up to the specification of the order. He is making the case that they only have a legal obligation to this order and that if the order is not taken then employees and the business will suffer due to some hardships in business recently. Bob left the office confused about the ethical dilemma he was facing.
a. Bob Hopkins, trader at White Lumbar Company
b. John White, owner/manager of White Lumbar Company
c. Stan Parrish, lumber buyer at Quality Lumbar
d. Mike Fayerweather, Bob’s partner at White Lumbar Company
e. Steve, forklift operator at White Lumbar Company
f. Janet, bookkeeper at White Lumbar Company
a. Goal Model Theory: The goal of White Lumbar Company seems to be to make a profit from their sales and hit their break-even point in the month of February. However, there are some conflicting goals within the company and since goal theory doesn’t place any weight on who’s goals are most important it is hard to determine which ones are more important. John White’s goal is to land the order with Quality Lumbar to gain profit and establish a permanent relationship with them. Bob Hopkins also wants to land the...