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Case 07. Training and Supervising Field workers


Paul Converse operates a marketing research company, serving a variety of clients from business and industry. Since he is located in a community where there are a number of colleges and universities, he relies on college students, as temporary employees, to staff his phone bank when he has a telephone survey to complete for a client. When he begins a new job, he will brief the telephone interviewers about the job and the procedures he wants them to follow in completing the survey. He does not, however, use phone equipment that would allow his on-site supervisor to monitor the calls for quality control, nor does he conduct random follow-up on the completed interviews to verify the accuracy of the information recorded. He assumes that the interviewers will perform their duties in a competent and reliable manner.


  1. Can college students be expected, reasonably, to competently perform telephone interviews with no more than an hour or two “briefing” on a pending job?
  2. Is Paul Converse providing adequate supervision of the telephone interviewers as they complete their calls?
  3. Does Paul Converse have any ethical responsibility to his clients to engage staff that are properly trained and supervised?

Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.