Always be Selling—Even on the Job
C. Kenneth Meyer, Marlene Heuertz, Jeffrey A. Geerts, Lance J. Noe

The era of the “dual and triple” job family is not only reflected in the “mantra” of the 21st Century workplace—flexibility, flexibility, flexibility, but often poses questions on what commercial and promotional activities employees are permitted to bring into the work environment. One of the major problematic workplace activities that is positively countenanced by some, but negatively viewed by other co-workers is the practice of “solicitation on the job.” Although this non-experimental, case study, design is written about a practice that is more severe than selling promotional sale products, such as pastries, cookie dough, cookies, candy, and popcorn, for youth clubs (scouts) and other nonprofit or charitable community, fraternal or faith based 501(c)(3) organizations, it details the predicament faced by the executive director Derek Spiegel of the Morningside Rural Electrical Cooperative (MREC), when Felicia Lynn, a long-time employee, has gone well beyond what might be considered permissible, by promoting, selling, and delivering Debbie Green’s Beauty Supplies while on the clock. As the case unfolds, office politics and professional decorum come into play, and the dilemma of not having a well-crafted and published “solicitation policy” for MREC becomes evident. The problem is further exacerbated by disagreement among the board members on what the governing policy on solicitation should entail. In conclusion, the director turns to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for recommendations on a “Model Solicitation Policy.” The Case concludes with an artistically written and managerially challenging set of Questions and Instructions.

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