The Problem: The Case of the Clever Bid
You have been invited to put a bid in to supply engineered products for a major governmental project. The contract has two components: providing the products and then training and monitoring the progress of the project for two years. You have reviewed the protocols and have been stewing over how to put in the “lowest responsible bid.” You have poked around in the industry and know that different companies follow different strategies. The RFP (request for proposal) does not directly address the issue of contract adjustments over the life of the contract, but the practice of adjusting contracts in the future to account for services that were not reasonably anticipated at the time of the bid appears to be acceptable.
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Be Reasonable: Explore the Options
In this step, identify the components of the practice as defined by the ethical agent. Please consider four elements: (1) standards of excellence; (2) rules that must be followed; (3) internal goods achieved; and (4) external goods achieved.
Now — what are the expectations of the community, the stake-holders, for a person who is excellent in this practice? Any option which does not meet the basic competencies is by definition an unethical option.
Next, considering your options, which one best meets the requirements of the core virtues: integrity, courage, justice, and civility?
Now, reflecting on the options, which one best meets the ethical actor’s requirements for unity of life? Which one best exemplifies the standards of a life as a whole?
Finally, consider which option is most consistent with the ethical actor’s core commitments. Which option has the potential to energize and transform both the ethical actor and the community?
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