In July 2011, Nassar Group, a well-diversified conglomerate operating in Dubai, bought the rights to manage Max’s Burger’s network of franchised outlets in Dubai. Max’s Burger is an emerging American fast-food chain with franchised outlets across the globe. The move was a personal project of Houssam Nassar, the Group’s managing director and a businessman with an excellent reputation. Dubai’s fast-food market is overwhelmed with franchised restaurants. Meat quality at Max’s Burger, however, was lower than the standards set by franchisors. This was all about to change because Nassar did not intend to jeopardize his reputation and image. Accordingly, as the new operator of Max’s Burger outlets, he issued a directive instructing the warehouse manager to decline any frozen meat shipment that did not comply with the franchisor’s set standards. A few weeks after Nassar Group took over the management of Max’s Burger, a frozen meat shipment was delivered to the Max’s Burger main warehouse. Upon measuring the temperature of the meat, the warehouse manager found that it was a few degrees outside acceptable limits. In terms of governmental regulations, a couple of degrees’ difference in temperature would present no risk to customers’ health; however, such a difference could have a minimal effect on the taste and texture of the meat. Prior to the change of management, and for many years before, the warehouse manager had no second thoughts about accepting such a shipment: no food poisoning claim was ever filed against Max’s Burger, and taste inconsistencies never bothered anyone enough to complain. Further, the company supplying the meat to Max’s Burger is owned
by a relative of the warehouse manager. With the new directive in place, however, the warehouse manager was unsure about his decision. Even though he knew that Nassar would have no way of finding out that the received meat was noncompliant, he wasn’t as sure about his decision this time around.
6-11. Does the decision to accept or refuse the frozen meat shipment call for ethical or legal considerations? Why?
6-12. Identify the stakeholders who will be influenced by the decision to accept or refuse the frozen meat shipment.
6-13. What type of decision-making framework would you advise the warehouse manager to adopt in
order to help him reach an optimal decision? How will your suggestion help?
Sources: “The Dollar Value of Ethics!”, Charbel Aoun, Instructor and AVP for Human Resources,
Lebanese American University, Beirut – Lebanon. The case was adapted to provide materials for
class discussions. The author does not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling
of a situation. To protect the confidentiality, the author may have disguised certain names and other
identifying information without jeopardizing the fundamentals of the case.
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