Noble Consulting is an international consulting firm that has four divisional offices in three countries. There are three partners, Frank Chan, Donald Chan and Toby Shawcross; each held the position of country managing partner respectively. Noble was one of the first Western consulting firms established offices in China. The success of its first project prompted other major companies to follow. Noble emphasizes teamwork and "one big family". In early June, Stephen Zhang, project manager of Noble, was facing a dilemma that whether to stay in Noble to finish the Salema project or to take the attractive job offer from Shen Rui, former division manager of Noble. If Zhang accepts Shen's offer, the project would certainly not be completed on time. This will not only harm Noble's reputation significantly, but also will affect Noble's business and its workers in the worst scenario. On the other way round, if he accepts the offer, he can get a 50% increase in his salary, more benefits and a higher title. This paper will analyze the ethical issues and alternatives for this case.
Frank is the founder and one of the partners of Noble. Also he is the chief representative of the Beijing office. He focuses a lot on organizational cultural: family. And he considers himself as the position of "father". Therefore, he is very sensitive when someone challenges his authority. Also, when there are disputes over business issues, he always dismisses the discussion impatiently and forces others to follow his decision. He values the Salema project very much as not only the company's revenue may be doubled, but also increases company's reputation.
Zhang is a project manager of Noble. He is not happy with the Frank's attitude and his working style. He wants to work in front-field and is not satisfied with doing back-office analysis and data crunching. Also, Zhang hopes to get married someday but with the salary he gets from Noble cannot afford him to do so. Therefore, when he received the attractive offer from Shen, he truly wants to accept it. But it must affect Noble's future operation and may even put Noble out of business in the worst scenario because he is handling the Salema project and his position in the team is important. The project is at the critical stage as there is only three weeks till the deadline. However, considering this offer may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, he feels conflicted for staying or not.