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Selling Flashlights in the Dark: Confronting Faulty Merchandise
Greenberg, Danna; Schlesinger, Phyllis Case OB-1195 / Published February 28, 2010 / 2 pages.
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Product Overview

This case is part of the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum. To see other material in the GVV curriculum, please visit http://store.darden.virginia.edu/giving-voice-to-values. In this case, a student has an ethical dilemma about the merchandise he and his team are selling as part of the business the team created for a Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) class. The team has contracted with an overseas supplier to provide flashlights powered by hand cranking. First, the supplier fails to meet its initial promised delivery date. Then, the supplier misplaces the order, delaying delivery further. Finally, the supplier delivers the product, to the team's great relief, but when the team tests the flashlights, half of them do not work as promised and the other half do not work at all. The team sold the flashlights prior to delivery on the promise of a great product, and the team leader thinks, for the sake of a good grade, that the team should deliver the flashlights as is, claiming that the ones the team tested worked as promised. The case protagonist does not want to do this, but isn't sure what he can do to influence his teammates. This case works well in sales management, marketing, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, and ethics courses, as well as in stand-alone workshops.

  • Overview

    This case is part of the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum. To see other material in the GVV curriculum, please visit http://store.darden.virginia.edu/giving-voice-to-values. In this case, a student has an ethical dilemma about the merchandise he and his team are selling as part of the business the team created for a Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) class. The team has contracted with an overseas supplier to provide flashlights powered by hand cranking. First, the supplier fails to meet its initial promised delivery date. Then, the supplier misplaces the order, delaying delivery further. Finally, the supplier delivers the product, to the team's great relief, but when the team tests the flashlights, half of them do not work as promised and the other half do not work at all. The team sold the flashlights prior to delivery on the promise of a great product, and the team leader thinks, for the sake of a good grade, that the team should deliver the flashlights as is, claiming that the ones the team tested worked as promised. The case protagonist does not want to do this, but isn't sure what he can do to influence his teammates. This case works well in sales management, marketing, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, and ethics courses, as well as in stand-alone workshops.

  • Learning Objectives