During your first month at ECG, you convene a meeting of the Ethics Review Committee to review a client situation. The situation is straightforward: An ECG partner has not been diligent in fulfilling contractual obligations for a business strategy engagement, which requires timely response because the final presentation to the client will occur in a matter of weeks. The partner did not encourage the consulting team to conduct some very critical market research and analysis of a new business opportunity for a long-standing client. Instead, data was used from a similar study done 3 years ago while the partner was employed by another consulting firm. This data, which overstates the current market opportunity, was shared with the client during an interim presentation along with a recommendation to consider a strategic move into the business market. The presentation could influence the client's decision to invest significant resources into a new venture that is not as appealing strategically or financially now as it was in the past.
There are both ethical and potentially legal issues related to this matter. As the Ethics Review Committee assesses the situation and determines a plan of action, it must take into account the implications of the partner's actions for the client and for ECG. There are currently few ethical policies to guide the group. If the issue becomes more widely known, business factors, inherent risks with certain responses to this situation, the possible loss of a key client, questions about firm's credibility, and the potential negative affect to the firm's upcoming IPO must also be considered.
Meet with the Ethics Review Committee on the Discussion Board to determine how this problem can be addressed through the following:
1.) Consider the relative values of proactive and reactive thinking in determining an action plan.
2.) Define critical steps in the decision-making process.
3.) Determine considerations in the decision-making process.
4.) Identify a creative, innovative, and optimal solution to the problem with appropriate justification.
5.) Outline the expected organizational impact.