Week 4 You Decide GM520 Legal, Political and Ethical Dimensions
This group project covers a contract dispute situation. As a group, work through the following questions. Feel free to ask further questions in the thread of your group members, and answer your group members questions as well. The best work will be where all group members work together to get the questions answered. You will be graded on the quality of your posts, but points will be deducted if your answers are duplicates of your group members’. Take turns and build on posts. The questions below have more than one part within each of them so work through them together. Have fun with this! The main thing is that you learn from this exercise, along with creating some quality collaboration with your group. Read the Group Project under Course Home or the Assignments page for this week for the full grading rubric for this group project. Good luck!
Download and review thecontract here.
You are the manager of a large data processing project. Your company, Systems Inc., worked very hard to obtain a contract with Big Bank to do their conversions from their recent acquisition, Small Bank. The bank met with several companies to discuss who would do the best work on the contract. During your meeting with Big Bank, you told them that you had “never missed a conversion deadline.” At the time, your company had never missed a conversion deadline, but the company had only done three conversions. You also told them that your data processing systems were the fastest around.” After months of negotiation, Big Bank signed the contract. The president of Big Bank said, “We like fast, and you guys are fast. We choose you.”
You started work on the data conversion immediately (ahead of contract). According to the contract, your team was responsible for ensuring that the new bank’s data were converted to Big Bank’s data processing system. The contract involved six large conversions. The first involved converting Big Bank’s savings accounts, the second its checking accounts, the third its investment portfolio, the fourth its credit card, the fifth its mortgage portfolios, and the six its large business loans. Your team completed four of the six conversions without a problem. The fifth task, the largest and most important, has encountered numerous problems. Some problems have been based on personnel issues on your part and other issues have been based on the bank’s failure to provide you with necessary information. One issue resulted when the conversion was delayed for over one week. The data to be converted were formatted differently than the bank’s previous specifications provided. For that reason, the data conversion fields needed to be changed. A provision in the contract required your company to receive four people’s approval before making any changes to the conversion data fields, and one of those four people, Glenda Givealot, was out of the country doing missionary work in an area of the world that did not have cell phone reception. Another issue resulted when the conversion was supposed to occur. Because of the change in the timeline, the conversion schedule had to change. The weekend the conversion was rescheduled to occur, an ice storm struck the state where your data processing computers were housed. Your facility lost electricity for 3 days and the conversion was delayed again until power could be restored.
K E Y P L A Y E R S
Big Bank President
The bank’s president, who is a known hothead, was furious. He called you after power was restored and yelled,
“We are rescinding this contract!”
He also threatened to take the case to court to seek damages.
Systems Inc. President
Your company president wants this situation resolved amicably. He also wants to maintain the contract with the bank, as he sees the potential for a large amount of business with the bank in the future if this contract proves successful. Corporate counsel believes that the bank just needs to be shown that they are out of compliance with the contract just as we are and that both parties are to “blame.” He wants you to start negotiations with the bank to modify certain provisions of the contract to make expectations clearer.
Y O U D E C I D E
Below is the list of questions you should work together to answer in this thread. Feel free to come up with more to answer together if you need them.
Can Big Bank’s president rescind the contract? Under what circumstances can a contract be rescinded by either party? What facts have to be alleged and proven? What is the result of a contract that is rescinded? Big Bank’s president also threatens legal action. What potential causes of action could you foresee him bringing in court? Would he be successful? Why or why not? What arguments could Systems Inc. raise in its defense? What are Big Bank’s potential damages? Review the facts provided and the sample contract. What provisions of the contract could you cite to support an argument that it is not in Big Banks best interest to rescind the contract? What facts could you cite to support an argument that Big Bank be responsible for some of these issues and/or not in compliance with the contract? In this situation, amicable resolution of problems is greatly preferred by your company. Would this be true in all contract disputes? In what situations and why would you decide to move to litigation over amicable resolution? There are three types of contract performance: complete, substantial, and material breach. Describe the differences (and similarities) among the three, and explain some of the legal ramifications for one or more of these types of performances. (e.g., what happens if one party performs completely but the other party performs only substantially?) Give examples from outside readings or experiences in your career or personal business life. What are the two most important concepts from this exercise that will help you in future contract negotiations? (All students must answer this question for full credit in this project.)You Decide: Contract Creation and Management – Group Discussion Thread
Make sure you have a “Group” thread showing this week. If not, e-mail your instructor ASAP. Review the You Decide Scenario found in your Group Area. Enter the Group Thread by no later than Wednesday to discuss the aspects of the scenario with your group. Your grade will be based on making at least six good, high-quality posts over at least three days to the thread that reflect on the You Decide’s contract issues and that answer the questions posed at the beginning of the thread. Your instructor will NOT lead this thread – it will be up to the groups to run the thread. (Take this opportunity to get to know your classmates in your group!) You earn 75 points in this project, set up as follows: (60 possible) Quality/quantity post points. You can earn up to 10 points for each high-quality post to the thread. A high-quality postwill reflect on a learning tip from the You Decide, provide significant factual background from the You Decide that helps explain a learning point being made in the threads, pose an exceptional question that moves the group thread forward in a manner that creates more learning (while responding to another student’s question or thought), or will provide a definitive and analytical answer to one of the main questions in the thread. Faculty may deduct points for less-than-high-quality posts (however, making more than six posts will help “ensure” that you will achieve the full complement of points, as you will get credit for each post you make, up to the maximum amount of 60 points for this part of the project). (10 possible) Days posted. You must post on at least three days. You will get 3 points credit for each day you post. (“I agree”- or “Yeah, great post!”-style posts will not count for a “day posted.” The post must have some quality to count on the day). One point will be given to each student who posts their first post to the Group Project thread by no later than Wednesday. (5 possible) Group points. How well your group works together will give you 5 possible points. Ways to get points include the following: build on each other’s posts (i.e., read group members’ posts and respond) and ensure all questions in the SIM project thread beginning are covered (i.e., don’t duplicate group members’ work – build on their answer or answer another question). Ways to lose points include requiring instructor intervention in the group process, failing to work together, and ignoring each other’s posts. (This group grade will be the same for each student in the group who posts value-added posts on at least three days in the thread. If a student posts less than three days, his or her group grade may be lower than the other group members’ grade due to not helping the group with facilitation of the thread. Harassment or lack of netiquette in a thread may also be a reason for an instructor to deduct one group members’ grade over others.)