Academic journal article Journal of Critical Incidents

Super Bowl Tickets for Five: Acceptable Gift or Possible Bribe

Academic journal article Journal of Critical Incidents

Super Bowl Tickets for Five: Acceptable Gift or Possible Bribe

Article excerpt

Critical Incident Overview

This critical incident describes a potential ethical dilemma created by an executive of a local restaurant chain. Scott Wise, owner of eight Scotty's Brewhouse locations in the Indianapolis metro area, had been approached by a Pepsi representative with an attractive financial proposition. Pepsi MAX was the official soft drink of the National Football League and in just a few short weeks Indianapolis would serve as the host city for Super Bowl XLVI. The representative offered him a five year contract that entailed selling Pepsi products exclusively while offering its products at a cost of ten percent less than what he had been paying for rival Coca-Cola products. Although Wise was impressed with the contractual terms, he had yet to sign the document. After reviewing the contract for the final time, he thought he might ask the Pepsi representative for one final concession, game tickets for himself and four other individuals. Students are asked to decide what course of action Scott Wise should take in terms of the tickets.

This critical incident is appropriate for use in undergraduate courses such as business ethics, marketing channels, principles of marketing, and marketing strategy.

Research Methods

This decision-based critical incident and the names used in the CI are real and were based on the secondary sources cited. This critical incident was classroom tested.

Learning Outcomes

In completing this assignment, students should be able to:

1. Describe the impact of buyer/seller actions on stakeholders in the marketing channel.

2. Analyze a situation in order to identify aspects of an ethical dilemma.

3. Describe the ramifications of bribery in a business-to-business context.

4. Explain the concept of exclusive dealing and its legal implications.

Discussion Questions

1. If Wise requests the tickets as a condition for signing the contract, the Pepsi representative can agree to give the tickets to Wise or he/she can refuse. What are the pros and cons of each choice? (LO1)?

2. Use the Marta and colleagues (2011) ethical decision making model for organizations. Would the potential ticket request would place the Pepsi representative into an ethical dilemma? Discuss your conclusion. (LO2)

3. Based on the Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Chain Management Conduct (Institute of Supply Management, 2014), if Scott Wise were to insist on the tickets in return for switching from serving Coke products to Pepsi products exclusively, is it potentially a bribe? Justify your conclusion. Also discuss Wise's potential request in terms of D'Andrade's (1985) three party model of bribery. (LO3)

4. Use the tenets of the Clayton Act. Is Pepsico behaving illegally by insisting on an exclusive dealing arrangement with Scott Wise? Discuss. (LO4)

5. If Wise requests the tickets as a condition for signing the contract, what course of action should the Pepsi representative take and why? (LO1)

Answers to the Discussion Questions

1. If Wise requests the tickets as a condition for signing the contract, the Pepsi representative can agree to give the tickets to Wise or he/she can refuse. What are the pros and cons of each choice? (LO1)?

Sample Student Response

If the Pepsi representative agrees to give the tickets to Wise, he/she ensures the addition of 8 new Pepsi restaurants in the Indianapolis area just in time for the Super Bowl. This will be a financial windfall for Pepsi and as a bonus it will take away an account that Coke has successfully held for the past 15 years. Pepsi's shareholders would also be happy with this decision as it would increase the financial bottom line for the company.

The downsides to this option are many. To some degree, giving the tickets to Wise may violate Pepsico's Global Code of Conduct because the tickets seem to be a factor in Wise's business decision in terms of selecting or not selecting to serve Pepsi products in his restaurants. …

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