Questions 1 – 4: Read the following situations and choose the best possible alternative.

Question 1: You, a recruitment manager, are interviewing Darpan, a hard- working young man, who has problems in speaking fluent English. He has studied in vernacular medium schools and colleges. Amongst the following options, what would you choose to do, if your company has vacancies?
A. I would hire him for production or finance job but not for marketing job, which requires good communication skills.
B. I would hire him for the job he is good at, and provide training in other areas.
C. I would hire him at all costs.
D. I would not hire him as he might be a burden on organisation because   of  his   poor communication skills.
E. I would ask him to improve his communication skills and come back again.

Question 2:  Shilpa was a finance manager in an MNC and felt that gender discrimination at the workplace hampered her career growth. Frustrated, she quit the job and started a company. Over the next six years, Shilpa emerged as a very successful entrepreneur and expanded her business to eight locations in the country. While starting her company, Shilpa decided that she would have equal proportion of males and females. However, Shilpa recently started facing an ethical dilemma because she realized that female employees were not willing to travel across cities and work late hours, as the work required them to do. Male employees did not hesitate undertaking such work. Shilpa started to feel the pressure of reducing the proportion of female employees. On the other hand, she is aware that equal representation was one of the strongest reasons for her to have founded the company. What should she do as a conscientious female entrepreneur?
A. See if unwilling female employees could be given assignments which do not require travel and involve less overtime.
B. Let the status quo continue.
C. Reduce the number of female employees, as it is a business requirement. She should not let anything affect her business.
D. She should close the business.
E. Henceforth hire only male employees.

Question 3: A database software manufacturing company found out that a product it has launched recently had a few bugs. The product has already been bought by more than a million customers. The company realized that bugs could cost its customers significantly. However, if it informs the customers about the bug, it feared losing credibility. What would be the most ethical option for the company?
A. Apologize and fix up the bug for all customers even if it has to incur losses.
B. Keep silent and do nothing.
C. Do not tell customers about bugs and remove only when customers face problems, even if it means losses for the customers.
D. Take the product off the mark and apologize to customers.
E. Keep silent but introduce and improved product that is bug-free at the earliest.

Question 4: The city of Nagar has a population of 10 million, 2 millions amongst whom are rich, 3 million poor and 5 million belong to the middle class. Sukanya Cosmetics manufactured and sold beauty product to the rich class at a premium price. Its products were very popular with customers. Many people from the middle and poor segments of the population aspired to buy these products but could not afford because of the high prices. Of late, sales growth has been stagnating in the rich segment. Which of the following is the best option for Sukanya Cosmetics to maximize long-term profits?
A. Sell its products under different brand names to middle and poor classes.
B. Sell similar products, of different quality standards with different brand names, to middle
classes and poor classes.
C. Sell the same products at lower prices to middle and poor classes.
D. Target middle class as it is the largest segment and forget about the rich.
E. Continue to target rich only and hope that today’s middle class would be tomorrow’s rich class.

Answers and Explanations

Answer 1: (B)

As a recruitment manager one should focus Darpan’s strengths and not necessarily his weaknesses. If Darpan has strengths in an area where there is a vacancy then he should be hired for that position. His lack of communication skills is a drawback which can be rectified through proper training on the job so long as it is not directly affecting his productivity too much. Hence the recruitment manager should give more priority to his qualities and not be governed by his drawbacks which may not be strictly relevant for the position he can join in.

Answer 2: (A)

Since Shilpa is a conscientious female entrepreneur, she should realize that one of the basic premises behind her forming her company was to provide equal opportunity to female employees. Hence she cannot step back from that aim. At the same time she has to run her business profitably. Hence she should look at placing female employees in jobs where they can perform productively without the company’s interests being compromised. For jobs requiring overtime and travel she could then look at perhaps hiring more male employees.

Answer 3: (A)

The company has sold its software to more than a million of customers. The bug poses a significant threat to these customers. Hence if the problem is left unattended the company will face even greater loss of credibility and bad word-of-mouth if it keeps quiet and the customers discover the bug. Hence in order to keep its reputation with its customers and show its commitment to them the company should own up and fix the bug for all software copies sold even if it involves expenses for it. (B), (C) and (D) talk about keeping silent about the problem and hence can be ruled out. (E) is also not correct. Taking off a product that has sold more than a million copies is also an extreme step which will show up the company in a poor light.

Answer 4: (B)

Since Sukanya Cosmetics has to maximize long-term profits, it has to look at moving beyond the ‘rich’ segment it has serviced so long. It has to look at catering to the middle class and poor segments which aspire to its products. Also sales in the rich segment are stagnating. Therefore the company should target products of different quality (and hence by implication price) to these other segments. Option (C) is ruled out because by selling-high quality products at low prices the company will lose money in the long run. (A) also implies selling the same products previously targeted at the rich (under different brand names) to the poor and middle classes. This would also potentially lead to losses through higher cost of productions and the need to maintain lower prices. Continuing to target only the rich would not maximize long-term profits as sales in this segment is clearly stagnating. Targeting only the middle-class would also be putting all eggs in one basket and hence not desirable. Thus option (B) is the correct answer as the company would be customizing is offering for targeting the different segments.

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