Ethical Dilemma #2: Failure to meet supply commitments
Yesterday I asked whether contract and commercial managers have an ethical responsibility to raise issues and challenge unethical behavior. I promised a series of brief case studies, posing the question ‘what would you do?’ Here is the second example:
Supply commitments will not be met You are managing an extremely high profile contract with a government body. It involves supplying trained personnel to support a major international event. Since the dates of this event are fixed, there is no flexibility over timing. You become aware that targets are slipping and that supply commitments will not be met. However, senior management refuses to acknowledge this and, in meetings with the customer, continues to assert that the contract will be fulfilled. As a result, the customer is not being given an opportunity to mitigate risk and you are very well aware of the reputational damage this failure will cause.
Underlying this series there is a bigger question, which relates to whether ‘professionalism’ demands a clear code of conduct and sets ethical standards for practitioners; and whether a condition of being ‘licensed to practice’ depends on adherence to this code.
Please share your thoughts and suggestions for action!