J.R. accepted a position at Cripple Creek Vocational University and he and his family made a permanent move. Soon, J.R. was promoted to Administrative Vice President, overseeing the purchasing department of the University. His oldest son, Jim, got a good job in educational equipment sales at Tiddley Computer Corporation in Fort Worth.
As Vice President, J.R. quickly saw the need for 4 to 5 computers in his office. Although CCVU had a bidding policy, J.R. purchased Tiddley Corporation’s computers direct from Tiddley for about $3500 each, when IBM clones were selling for around $2000 and the clone had more promising features than the Tiddley. Jim handled the sale and received a healthy commission on the sale. If the purchase had gone through the normal bidding process, the TC model would not have been selected. Tiddley’s local Cripple Creek franchise dealer objected to Tiddley Corporation that his protected franchise had been bypassed in the deal.
1. Since J.R. was over the purchasing department and had final decision authority, should purchasing have gone through the normal bidding routine?
2. Is it acceptable for a V.P. to bypass the normal routine to do business with a family member?
3. Was J.R.’s decision not to request bids an ethical choice?
4. What should the college purchasing agent do?
5. Should anyone else at CCVU have any interest in this activity?
6. Has Tiddley’s Cripple Creek franchise owner been wronged?
7. Should Jim have made the sale? Received a commission?