You are about to make a major presentation to a potential Saudi Arabian partner. As you do your research, you discover that the custom in Saudi Arabia is that women are not present at any of the meetings where either the science or the financial issues are discussed. If women are present, they are not expected to take a leadership role in the presentation. Your lead market rep is a brilliant and very articulate female with a Ph.D. She has been responsible for all of the professional presentations which have been made to other potential partners. Further, her knowledge about both the product and the science behind the product is richer than anyone else's on the team. In addition, the compensation package is set so that the lead rep for any marketing effort receives a 10% bonus when a deal is sealed. However, you are afraid that if the lead market rep actually makes the presentation, given the customs about women, the deal will not be made.

In this question, the company has to work to balance the requirements of two different cultures. Leadership needs to assure that the woman gets the opportunity to have recognition (both in terms of finance and evaluation) for her work at the same time that the difference in roles which may be present in other cultures is acknowledged and respected. A key ethical question is when to push the cultural envelope and when to accede to the cultural expectations.

Be Intelligent

Now we identify the issue, as well as the elements in tension. Please address the following questions: • What is the very specific issue to be resolved? At this stage the person making the decision states the issue in the form of a question to be answered. The person making the decision must make sure the question is an ethical question, not a technical question about how to do a job or a matter of personal preference.


• What are the values/virtues in tension? Make a preliminary identification of the values/virtues in tension. What are the tensions in the right treatment of people? What are the tensions in the right use of property ... both individual rights and community rights (such as roads and parks)? What are the tensions concerning the right use of power... how have those who do not have access to information, resources, or autonomy been protected?