For almost a year, WEST Company has been changing its manufacturing process from a traditional to a JIT approach. Management has asked for employees assistance in the transition and has offered bonus

For almost a year, WEST Company has been changing its manufacturing process from a traditional to a JIT approach. Management has asked for employees’ assistance in the transition and has offered bonuses for suggestions that cut time from the production operation. Don Hanley and Jerome Obbo each identified a time- saving opportunity and turned in their suggestions to their manager, Sam Knightly.

Knightly sent the suggestions to the committee charged with reviewing employees’ suggestions, which inadvertently identified them as being Knightly’s own. The committee decided that the two suggestions were worthy of reward and voted a large bonus for Knightly. When notified of this, Knightly could not bring himself to identify the true authors of the suggestions.

When Hanley and Obbo heard about Knightly’s bonus, they confronted him with his fraudulent act and expressed their grievances. He told them that he needed the recognition to be eligible for an upcoming promotion and promised that if they kept quiet about the matter, he would make sure that they both received significant raises.

Should Hanley and Obbo keep quiet? What other options are open to them? How should Knightly have dealt with Hanley’s and Obbo’s complaints?

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