Discussion reply | Operations Management homework help

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Review your classmates’ answers and find two with which you do not agree. Explain how these classmates might revisit their ethical determination based on your perspective.

1. Buying competitors’ garbage: U, I

2. Dissecting competitors’ products: E, L

3. Taking competitors’ plant tours anonymously: E, L

4. Counting tractor-trailer trucks leaving competitors’ loading bays: E, L

5. Studying aerial photographs of competitors’ facilities: U, L

6. Analyzing competitors’ labor contracts: E, L

7. Analyzing competitors’ help-wanted ads: E, L

8. Quizzing customers and buyers about the sales of competitors’ products: E, L

9. Infiltrating customers’ and competitors’ business operations: U, I

10. Quizzing suppliers about competitors’ level of manufacturing: E, L

11. Using customers to buy out phony bids: U, I

12. Encouraging key customers to reveal competitive information: E, L

13. Quizzing competitors’ former employees: U, L

14. Interviewing consultants who may have worked with competitors: E, L

15. Hiring key managers away from competitors: E, L

16. Conducting phony job interviews to get competitors’ employees to reveal information: U, I

17. Sending engineers to trade meetings to quiz competitors’ technical employees: E, L

18. Quizzing potential employees who worked for or with competitors: E, L


            Going through all the scenario’s I would have to say that I struggled with number 15 the most on deciding whether it is ethical or not. After thinking this scenario through and doing some outside research, I came to the conclusion that it is an Ethical and Legal action for firms to simply hire key managers from competitors. However, I think that it is a fine line on how a company should approach this scenario. I believe that by taking a more subtle approach and even considering hiring a search firm to recruit certain candidates, this can aid in keeping a firm at arm’s list and not poaching candidates. If as an organization, you directly approach a key manager with the intention of undermining the competition, I would view this as unethical.  Ultimately, the intent behind the action is what determines whether the action is ethical or not. A good search firm uses a polished, subtle approach by talking to potential candidates about an opportunity in vague terms merely to see if they can gauge interest.

            As mentioned before, it is a fine line to tread when hiring key personnel from the competition. For example, most “key managers” tend to have to sign contracts stating that they will not work for competitors for a certain amount of time after leaving a firm, etc. Firms do this to protect their investment, protect themselves, and the future of their firm. These contracts are called “non-compete agreements”. These agreements only have legal ramifications because the firms who implement them are wanting to retain talent, which is understandable. In my opinion, it is not an unethical move to hire a key manager from a firm because of “non-agreement contracts”. However, on the contrary, if the particular employee has signed one and cannot work for a competitor and that particular firm attempts to not honor this agreement and seeks to get around it somehow that would be considered “unethical” in my opinion. Also, another factor that helped lead to my decision was reviewing the text, where it states that various legal and ethical ways to obtain competitive intelligence include hiring top executives from rival firms David, & David, Pg. 70, 2017). Therefore, I do feel that hiring key managers from the competition is an ethical and legal action.


David, F. R, & David, F. R. (2017). Strategic Management. Concepts and Cases. A Competitive Advantage Approach. (16th Ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.


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