Answered Essay: Education unlimited Inc. produces very specialized adaptive educational products

Education unlimited Inc. produces very specialized adaptive educational products. The CFO of Education unlimited   Inc. Bill M became aware that a major customer of theirs is closing a majority of their academic campuses and thus the demand for Education unlimited   products is likely to be affected significantly. Education unlimited   Inc.   president and CEO, Jon M, was very concerned but still asked Bill not to disclose that information due to the potential effect on the stock price. To make things worse for Education unlimited   Inc.   questions about the efficacy of the adaptive products is being questioned by the vice president for assessment Doug M , which if valid is likely to affect the demand for the products even further. Jason M, the company’s production manager, hears the announcement of the campus closing and stops Bill M inquiring about the truth of the campus closing and the efficacy issues.

Are there any ethical issues, should any of this information be disclosed to the public and what is the position of the relevant professional body (the IMA) ?

Expert Answer

The major ethical issue is that the insiders in the Education Unlimited Inc. themselves conceal information from each other. There is lack of transparency in the information circulated within the Organization and even if it is circulated, no one is indeed vouching for it with proofs. For eg. When the V.P is asking for the efficacy situation of their adaptive products, the CEO and CFO, both try to conceal the information from him fearing for further dip in the product’s sale. Further when the CFO asks about the substantiation of the news so being in the circulation in the market from the Production manager Jason M, the latter also attempts to cease the CFO from any further inquiry. All of this creates an atmosphere of mistrust within the Organization itself thereby refraining it from any improvements that could possibly be undertaken if the situation in known to the relevant employees in the correct light. Also, concealing of information from the owners of the company i.e. the shareholders is further contributing to the creation ‘success bubble’ without any relevant substance which could burst at any point of time, thereby resulting into further damage of the earned goodwill. There is indeed a breach of business ethics that suggest transparency in the system and conveying of relevant information to the stakeholders. Alternatively, an open discussion amongst the stakeholders shall help in exploring the ways to attract or to deal with new customers who can in turn help in retaining the goodwill and business of the Organization. This could only be done once the stakeholders are aware of the actual state of affairs.

The role of IMA would be to timely monitor the success of Education Unlimited and keep sending external auditors to ensure the compliance of the Academy. Now, in this case, it is not that the academy is non-complying with any norms however the IMA needs to question the Academy regarding the forthcoming threats that they foresee in the system, by creating a relationship of empathy with the Academy and suggesting it was to come over it, if need be.

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