Maria Lopez

Maria recently became the purchasing manager of a small lawnmower manufacturing firm. She is excited about the opportunity to demonstrate her abilities in this new responsibility. She is very aware that several others in the firm are watching her closely because they do not believe she deserves the purchasing manager position.
Her new job at the firm requires that she interact with several senior managers and leaders. One vice president in particular, Brian O’Malley, is someone she admires because he has earned the respect of the CEO on the basis of his success at making profits for the firm. Again and again, he just seems to know how to discover and take advantage of competitive opportunities that end up paying off royally for the firm.
Maria’s first responsibility is to buy the motors for the assembly line. The motors constitute 30 percent of the total construction cost of the lawn mowers. Consequently, even a small error on Maria’s part would have huge implications for the firm’s profitability. The bids from the motor suppliers are required to be secret in order to maximize competition among the suppliers. The bids are due at 5 p.m. today.
At 3 p.m., Maria accidentally sees Brian returning the submitted bids to the locked safe where they are to be stored, according to company policy, until all bids have been submitted at 5 p.m. Then at 4:45 p.m., she notices a postal delivery of a bid from Stein’s Motor Company. Her head buzzes as it hits her that Stein’s president is one of Brian O’Malley’s cousins.
She has no idea what to do. However, she knows she has to decide quickly.

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