1) The conflict being made by the main actor, Larry Rogers, Product Marketing Manager, in the case is faced with having to report to his executive, Sean Morrison. Sean Morrison is a demanding executive with little tolerance for views different than his own. Larry asks his team to conduct market research and report results to him, however, is dreading having to report back to Sean. Ultimately, Larry knows that Sean will do what he wants to do , regardless of the market research. Larry expects the product manager to falsify the data of the market research to fictionalize the results to suit a pre-existing preference, just to avoid another confrontation with Sean; however, this opposed Larry’s true values.
2) The reasons and rationalizations being given by other actors who do not agree with the main actor’s approach or plan to the ethical situation are being carried out by the team of marketers who are responsible for conducting market research on GPT’s consideration of adding a removable battery feature to its product. Larry left the three managers at the meeting with Sean, expecting them to falsify the market research data. However, the marketers saw no value in conducting rigorous and time-consuming research on a product that would never be implemented, nevertheless even considered by Sean. Throughout the process, they learned from Larry’s own commitment to treating the data with integrity, however, when confronted by Sean, Larry failed to represent his true opinions and beliefs.
3) The key stakeholders are Larry’s seniors, peers, and consumers. His division had become critical to GPT as a source of revenue and profit; therefore, Larry’s actions had a tremendous affect on the sustainability of the company. His peers, who were comprised of talented and capable staff, typically MBA’s from elite business schools, were expected to carry out market research although Larry had no intention on utilizing their work. Finally, the end-user of the product would suffer because consumer preferences were mapped according to price and product features and according ot the market research, consumers preferred the removable battery with the longer life. However, due to the ethical conflict at hand, this request was not carried out due to the conflict between Larry and Sean.
4) The levers that I can use, as Larry, to influence Sean, are effective communication and reasoning. Although Sean is notorious for intense questioning and criticism, it is Larry’s professional job to manage his team according to the interest of the stakeholders. Larry should have settled his personal issue with Sean before the pressing issue facing his team: the evaluation of two product enhancements.
5) I would no tailor my message for different stakeholder concerns because the issue at hand is straightforward: Sean, the ultimate decision making authority, tends to disregard all market research, and instead, utilizes his own theories, processes, and beliefs in order to make decisions”. In other words, regardless of the work the marketing team, peers, seniors, and consumers put forth in directing the product, Sean has his own agenda, and is nearly impossible to approach or convince otherwise.
6) The most powerful and persuasive response to the reasons and rationalizations that Larry can use to influence what he perceives to be ethical action is to be present at the conference call, present the market research data on the product enhancements the firm should pursue, and present fairly and accurately their findings. Although there are pressures on Larry, as well as the marketing team, those involved in the decision making process should stand up to Sean and face him up front. Falsifying data and failing to consider relevant market research is detrimental not only to the firm, but to Larry’s reputation as a manager.