Solved HBR Case Study Solution: Martha McCaskey By Bart J. Van (Download Now)

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Solution Pages: 4

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Structure of the Solution

Address the situation in the case as if you were a consultant brought in to advise the parties involved.
-Summarize the problem as seen by each party.

  • Involves brief introduction of company/Business entity
  • Problem Statement (What is the dilemma, purpose or situation presented in the case)
  • Problem influence as admired by each party involved

-Summarize what each party wants

  • Interest of each party involved
  • Their expectation, target or concern

-Outline possible solutions (Only the Most Viable and Strategic but realistic at the same time)

  • Solutions which are essentially possible in that particular situation
  • Can involve all the parties or some of them
  • Can be cost effective or ethical standing,
  • May include Utilitarian Approach or any other ethical rights considerations

-Identify pros and cons for each option

  • Mention the Pros and Cons of each possible solution or approach
  • Which may include their costs and benefits and ultimate impacts on the parties involved

-Make specific recommendations and indicate why you chose it

  • Choose only one solution/ Option which you consider most optimal or viable
  • Support your solution which proper reasoning and eventually conclude the analysis

Sample of Solution

The Martha McCaskey, an associate at Seleris Associates’ Industry Analysis Division (IAD) and project head of Silicon 6 project, needs to gather some information regarding costing, manufacturing and other peculiar attributes of a silicon chip which is manufactured by the prime competitor of her potential client. The McCaskey has diversified experience of working on the distinct projects while also committing to her core ethical values. However, in this particular situation, Martha has two options, either to gather information from Devon, who is ex-employee of the Target Company or handover the project to the Kaufmann who is another associate at Seleris. Kaufmann has handled such type of projects, which essentially requires augmentation of confidential information of competitors for the client. But, McCaskey has already interviewed Devon, although she has not gathered any new information, but she is confident to acquire something worth, in her second meeting.


Possible Solutions

In the concerned ethical situation, one possible solution can be that; the McCaskey may back out from the project and strictly refrain from using unethical means. While she can also inform the clients that, they have to use an ex-employee of their competitor to gather the confidential information. Hence, by sharing the dilemma with clients may disentangle the ethical complexity of the situation, as the clients may change the terms of the project while also owning the ethical burden.  In addition to this, McCaskey can tell her immediate boss about the ethical dilemma that she is facing and ask for the possible solution. Since, the promotion of McCaskey is based on the discretion of the senior management, hence by telling the senior management about the issue may earn McCaskey an intermediate solution which may not affect her promotion.


Pros and Cons

Furthermore, there are also certain comforts and cons associated with each option that is potentially available for McCaskey in this peculiar ethical dilemma. The first option which is to let go this project and prefer her moral rectitude over her promotion. The benefits associated with this option is that she will not be disturbed by her conscience and remain satisfied from inside. In addition to this, she would also become more committed in keeping her principles above monetary and material gains. Whereas, the major disadvantage associated with the option would be that, she might hamper her prospective growth in the firm, in which she has a god chance of promotion as she being in the good books of her senior executives.



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