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How does the situation facing Jean constitute an ethical dilemma? · Discuss two ethical theories (discussed in Lecture 2 and/or 3) and explain their relevance to this situation. You also need to provide suggestions to Jean based on your learning.
Assignment One: Ethical Dilemmas
Purpose: To demonstrate your understanding and application of the
ethical dimension of business decision making.
1. Read the case study “Closing the Deal”
2. Write a 1600 word essay, excluding references, that answers the following
· How does the situation facing Jean constitute an ethical dilemma?
· Discuss two ethical theories (discussed in Lecture 2 and/or 3) and
explain their relevance to this situation. You also need to provide
suggestions to Jean based on your learning.
Tips and hints
• Remember an essay has three components; an introduction, body and
conclusion. It is an integrated piece of writing that should enable a
reader (i.e. your marker) to follow your argument, explanation or
exposition without the use of headings or sub-headings. To do this you
need to use linking words or phrases between words, sentences and
paragraphs to maintain coherence and cohesion throughout the essay.
• Please note the question has two parts; you must address both parts. In the
first instance, you need to explain how the situation facing constitutes
an ethical dilemma (a definition of ethical dilemma). To do this
effectively you need to provide evidence-based argument of why you
believe this to be an ethical dilemma (i.e. this is where you would show
your understanding of the concepts and theories).
• You will also need to discuss TWO ethical theories and explain their
relevance to this situation and provide suggestions to Jean based on
• You may write in the first person. However, where you are discussing
theory or concepts, you may find it more effective to revert to the third
person/more formal structure.
• You must reference any research sources that you have used. Compile
your reference list following the APA format of all the sources
(textbooks, journals, newspaper articles, etc.) used in developing your
response. Note that you must have a minimum of three scholarly
references in addition to your textbook (i.e. a minimum of four in
total). This list must contain at least one book and one journal article.
• Do make use the Library’s on-line catalogue and electronic databases
available via the Library’s website.
• Remember to submit an electronic copy of your essay to Stream. Please
remember there are No Hard Copies of assignments submitted in this
Do make use the Library’s on-line catalogue and electronic databases
available via the Library’s website.
Remember to submit an electronic copy of your essay to Stream that includes
the Honesty Declaration. Please remember there are No Hard Copies of
assignments submitted in this course.
Closing the Deal
Now that she had to, Jean McGuire wasn’t sure she could. Not that she
didn’t understand what to do. Wright Boazman, sales director for
Sunrise Land Developers, had made the step clear enough when he
described a variety of effective “deal-closing techniques”.
As Wright explained it, very often people actually want to buy a lot but
suffer at the last minute from self-doubt and uncertainty. The
inexperienced salesperson can misinterpret this hesitation as a lack of
interest in a property. “But”, as Wright pointed out, “in most cases it’s
just an expression of the normal reservations, we all show when the
time comes to sign our names on the dotted line”.
In Wright’s view, the job of a land salesperson was “to help the prospect
make the decision to buy.” He didn’t mean to suggest that salespeople
should misrepresent a piece of property or in any way mislead people
about what they were purchasing. “The law prohibits this,” he pointed
out, “and personally I find such behaviour repugnant. What I’m talking
about is helping them buy a lot that they genuinely want and that you’re
convinced will be compatible with their needs and interests.” For Wright
Boazman, salespeople should serve as motivators, people who can
provide whatever impulse was needed for prospects to close the deal.
In Wright’s experience, one of the most effective closing techniques was
what he termed “the other party.” It goes something like this.
Suppose someone like Jean McGuire had a hot prospect, someone
who was exhibiting real interest in a lot but who was having trouble
deciding. To motivate the prospect into buying, Jean ought to tell the
person that she wasn’t even sure the lot was still available because a
number of other salespeople were showing the same lot, and they could
already have closed a deal on it. As Wright put it, “This first move
generally increases the prospect’s interest in the property, and more
important to us, in closing the deal pronto.”
Next Jean should say something like, “Why don’t we go back to the
office, and I’ll call headquarters to find out the status of the lot?” Wright
indicated that such a suggestion ordinarily “whets their appetite” even
more. In addition, it turns prospects away from wondering whether they
should purchase the land and toward hoping that it’s still available.
When they return to the office, Jean should make a call in the presence
of the prospect. The call, of course, would not be to “headquarters” but
to a private office only yards from where she and the prospect
sit. Wright or someone else would receive the call, and Jean should
fake a conversation about the property’s availability, punctuating her
comments with contagious excitement about its desirability. When she
hangs up, she should breathe a sigh of relief that the lot’s still available
– but barely. At any minute, Jean should explain anxiously, the lot
could be “green-tagged,” meaning that headquarters is expecting a call
from another salesperson who’s about to close a deal and will remove
the lot from open stock. (An effective variation of this, Wright pointed
out, would have Jean abruptly excuse herself on hanging up and dart
over to another sales representative with who she’d engage in a heated,
although staged, debate about the availability of the property – loud
enough, of course, for the prospect to hear. The intended effect,
according to Wright, would be to place the prospect in a “now or never”
frame of mind.)
When Jean first heard about this and other closing techniques, she felt
uneasy. Even though the property was everything it was represented to
be and the law in her state allowed purchasers three days to change
their minds after closing a deal, she instinctively objected to the use of
psychological manipulation. Nevertheless, Jean never expressed her
reservations to anyone, primarily because she didn’t want to endanger
her job, which, as a single mother with two children to support, she
certainly needed. Besides, Jean had convinced herself that she could
deal with closures more respectably than Wright and other salespeople
might. But the truth was that, after six months of selling land for
Sunrise, Jean’s sales lagged far behind those of the other sales
representatives. Whether she liked it or not, Jean had to admit she was
losing a considerable number of sales because she couldn’t close. And
she couldn’t close because, in Wright Boazman’s words, she lacked
technique. She wasn’t using the psychological closing devices that he
and others had found so successful.
Now as she drove back to the office with two hot prospects in hand, she
wondered what to do.
Shaw, W. (2014). Business ethics. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. pp.
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