EMco and SolarT
The EMco and SolarT case is presented in a series of four short vignettes involved two women, Carrie and Marguerite, who have a twenty-year friendship. Carrie, a venture capitalist, sits on the board of an energy management company called EMco. When EMco’s CEO reports that he is recruiting for a new VP of Sales, Carrie immediately introduces him to Marguerite, a seasoned sales executive. Marguerite soon joins EMco and the next three vignettes explore a series of issues she faces in her role. Vignette A presents a conversation between Carrie and Marguerite, 18 months into Marguerite’s tenure, in which Marguerite shares with Carrie that she is considering leaving EMco for a different opportunity, fueled by her desire to become a CEO someday. The second vignette also has Marguerite discussing with Carrie her desire to move on from EMco, but to join SolarT, a solar energy company for which Carrie is also a board member. Finally, Vignette C explores the scenario where Marguerite goes to work for SolarT, which is the arch rival of another company, Blue, for which her father is a board member. All of these vignettes are presented in the context of the ethical decisions both Carrie and Marguerite must make to avoid conflicts of interest in each of these three scenarios.
This case is taught in Real Life Ethics, which explores the ethical dilemmas that arise in day-to-day interactions in a business setting. The class explores scenarios and decisions for which there is no black and white answer but rather shades of grey that must be navigated in order to land upon the answer that meets each individual’s moral and ethical obligations to themselves and others.