This assignment will focus on case studies related to the field of business, mainly describing issues regarding business ethics. The work will have three case studies, two of them will be picked up from real case scenarios, while the third case study will be self-generated. The field of business ethics is another vast field of research and implication that holds a powerful place in the current world as it has roots in every other area. Thus, there arises a need to state down some rules and ethics to be followed so that a balanced and reliable outcome is met. Business ethics is a system of applied ethics or professional ethics that inspects ethical values and moral or ethical complications that can come out in a business atmosphere. It applies to every aspect of business behavior and applies to the action of entities and whole organizations. The case studies discussed in this assignment will hold a discussion that includes a brief description of the case studies along with my argument and ethical decision making approaches and theories that will eventually help in reaching my conclusion. I will further state answers to two questions for each case study regarding issues faced in the business ethics of these case studies.
Now discussing the case studies briefly, we firstly come against the coke-ethical issues. It states why and how coke lost its value after it got more than hundred school children ill, how unethical it behaved towards its production and business causing a downfall in its importance, coke recalled its products after the health care ministry of Belgium announced a ban over its products which were alleged of making more than a hundred small children especially school children sick. The recalled products were up to fifteen million bottles that added up to a count of two point five million already present stock that came back in the preceding week. The case study overall speaks how coke faced problems while its journey in the field business up till now, but our main focus will be on the ethical issues of this case study that states that the company in some states did not focus on the health of public either it focused on its sales, this very point was criticized by analysts too (Ashoka et al.2017). Who highlighted the factor that an organization should always consider the health of people that it might affect.
The next case study is about another organization named the firestone tires, and this organization produces tires for vehicles, the case study defines a controversy where it states in detail that how the national highway traffic safety administration in united states delivered a letter to another organization called ford motor cooperation. The organization looked in this matter and took out the data, going through and analyzing it in detail as the NHTSA asked for information about the high incidence of the tire failure (Penenberg 2014). The analysis showed that firestone tires held a primary high failure rate. The faulty tires caused the vehicle to roll over, thus killing the passengers resulting in fatal outcomes. The firestone tire recall was perhaps the most significant auto safety crisis in the history of united states. The death rates increased from 101 to 250 with a report generated that of 3000 injured cases. The victims’ families reported lawsuits on the unethical behaviour of the company resulting in the downfall of their ethical values and killing peasants as a result of their negligence.
The third case study is a self-generated one that explains that there exists a leading tea brand that was criticized over the fact that a few months investigation about a target named Stephan came out to be blood-related the owner of a tea brand and was arrested, the arrest was not made over the fact that he was blood-related the person but because of his association with the leading tea brand. The organization was alleged to have allowed the expenses for his check-up, travel and hotel charges along with his companions. In the hidden covers of a mere tea brand, he was growing evils inside. Later this led to a controversy that soon engulfed many top names from the political and social circle. The discussion brought the attention of the rest of the state eventually disclosing the evils it had been involved with like kidnapping, murders, target killings and extortion by the organization. The company at first set up processing and packaging facilities at the tea estates itself. At first, the company held a smaller yield production, eventually increasing it year by year. The company comprised over 2000 selling agents and retail outlets at first in almost every corner of the state. Later the company faced several problems due to the political unrest in the country. The terrorist usually sought funds from lower sections of society, gradually all systems in the city were coerced to make monthly payments to the tourists.
First of all, regarding the case study of coke ethical issues, one thing I found the most disturbing was the negligence of human rights and safety. For businesses and organizations related to health and food should give importance to the health and safety of their audience first, even before their benefits and uses, the organization is to put the heath of the public they are affecting to be the first in their priority list. Now, this business of coke came out to have faults in their some of the branches such as Antwerp, Ghent, wilrijk, Dunkirk and Belgium. These areas produced beverages of coke and caused health problems in the audience especially the children at six schools of the state of Belgium had complained of headache, nausea, vomiting and shivering leading to hospitalization after drinking these products (Khanka 2014). Here the question arises of why the students faced sickness after the consumption of coke beverages. Either it was the negligence of the health check unit that is supposed to verify the product is safe to use, or it is the use of cheap materials to produce the beverages, or it can be the negligence of the management about not checking whether the product was within the due date or expired.
The next Firestone tire case study included many points. Still, the most problematic ethical business issue was the wide occurrence of fatal accidents that took the lives of many peasants just because business ethics and values were neglected and self-benefits of the organization were kept at the highest in the priority list. The products of firestone were above in the list for accusation for the accidents that happened. Firestone announced that it was serving its products with ford and the accidents caused 174 deaths and were from products used in ford explorer (Rossy et al. 2013). Firestone also said that ford is trying to divert attention and put the blame on firestone so it can escape the loss and outcomes that lead to the downfall of the organization. Now we can see that the coordination and cooperation between the two organizations are not strong enough and they are not comfortable with each other. Later on the chronology of events leading to firestone’s decision to stop supplying new products to ford. Organizations and business should set some specific rules and ethics that are to followed by both the participating entities and in case of any fatality or problem, both should take responsibility and act to resolve it.
The next case study based on a tea-producing organization also came up with many unethical values and ethical issues regarding and business and effecting the stakeholders, the person Stephan was associated with an organization that fed evils of the society and was involved in various crimes. The police investigated and kept inspecting Stephan keeping an eye on him taking in all his actions for several months, and trying to examine what activities he is involved, the police arrested him because of his involvement and association with the company, now the question arises that what sort of evils the company held that led to the arrest of Stephan and related people, so in the case study we saw a complete number of unethical values that brought down the many top names in the political and social fields. The controversy brought to the attention of the remaining people of the state. That the company had to live with over the last two decades and had been involved in criminal activities, mainly kidnapping, extortion and murders, these factors led to the birth of unethical values. That, in a result, affect the society in the wrong way.
There are five approaches to ethical decision making that help in making those decisions regarding business ethics. The five theories are utilitarian approach, rights approach, fairness/justice approach, common good approach and virtue approach. The practical approach answers the predicament of which option will yield the utmost aids and slightest harm. The rights approach trails the views that entities can make their decisions spontaneously. It believes that if it does not admire everyone’s moral rights, it is erroneous to act. The fairness or justice approach states that the individual is only to reproduce if the result is fair to the people ( Schwartz 2016). The standard right practice helps drive our choice, whether the selections we make and actions we take will be good enough for ourselves and the community. It unlocks the pathway to several many questions related to the type of civilization we want to adopt and how to attain that. Virtue approach is the one that states that each of us embraces internal values and morals that we strive to maintain and hold on to. This question reflects on who and what type of person is to be appointed to do a specific task and what character will do it.
Now, after gaining a brief knowledge of the approaches and theories, we will apply these to our case studies to draw our conclusion. To the case study related to coke-ethical issues, we saw that community and public are affected in a horrible sense. Since the company is related to health and food department, it is to follow some ethics that include human health and safety on top of the list. Thus the best approach that can be applied here is the fairness/justice approach since it states that a person is supposed to act in a way that the action applied to the people is fair enough. Whatever the company decides the outcomes are supposed to be in favour of public and community because the most prioritized factor for this case study is health. Slight mismanagement can lead to fatal incidents. Following this approach, the coke manufacturers will produce such products that are healthier to the public use and eventually the public will use the products more causing the incline in the statics of the company that will ultimately lead to its prosperity (Nelson et al.2014).
The next case study called the firestone tire controversy is likely to need fairness/ justice theory to be applied too because the company needs to consider factors that influence and affect the public. Use of the right type of raw materials for the production of products. That will eventually affect the people in return. The company produces items of daily services and tires are the main component of a vehicle without which it can’t work, and this essential component can case deaths of people. It is not in good condition. So fairness approach leads us to the uprooting the central issue in this case study that is the unfairness in use or raw materials and producing items for public service.
In the third case study, we apply that each of us holds internal values and morals that we struggle to keep and hold on to them. This very statement reflects on who we are and what we possess and how we are appointed for a specific task and what character will do it. This case study eventually speaks for the betterment of our inner selves so we can be productive and beneficial for others too.
Q1: why did the students felt sick after consuming the product, what factors led to this outcome?
The students felt sick after they consumed the product; this could either be the result of the use of cheap raw materials for the production of the beverages. Either it was the carelessness of the health check unit that is supposed to confirm the product is benign to use or it is the use of low-priced cheap and unhealthy materials to yield the beverages, or it can be the carelessness of the management about not checking whether the product was within the due date or expired.
Q2: on what basis the analyst criticized coke for being responsible for the sickness occurring in public and which component was asked to be reduced will the production of the beverages?
The health issues that came up after the product was consumed by the public caused the analysts to point fingers at their unethical values because human health is and should the priority of every real-life organization or business.
Q3: the ford explores stated that the accidents caused were from the products that came from Firestone tire, did it took the correct step for blaming firestone?
In my opinion, it was not right to blame the other organization entirely that was in partnership with ford because being partners, loss and gain both should be shared equally by the two organizations, ford was supposed to be looking deep into the matter and digging down to the roots of the problem, to solve the real causes and terminate what is damaging the success of the company and affecting the welfare of people ill.
Q4: What factors led to the fall of both organization’s handshake and collaboration?
Distrust, need to come out clean and avoid the strict actions applied by the government. The two organizations kept blaming each other for the loss and since the effects were fatal no one was ready to agree that the accidents were indeed their faults was their product was not reliable enough.
Q5: the case study states that the company gradually started to make monthly income for the terrorists, was it the right way to do that?
No, this process was wrong since the companies were supporting the evils making their roots more robust and more profound and corroding the success of the state. And eventually, when they got associated with the terrorists, their improper influence started to effects everyone badly. Such actions lead to an increase in unethical business values and strengthening such evils that destroy the state.
Q6: Was the police supposed to arrest Stephan? Did they take the right step?
Yes, the police took the right steps arresting the person who was related to the tea company since the company was breeding evils and doing business with corrupt morals and ways, as a result snatching away the state’s wealth and using it for the downfall of the state itself.
Ashoka, M.L. and Rakesh, T.S., 2017. A Case Study on Small Scale Soft Drinks Manufacturing Entrepreneurs in Belthangady Taluk. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Management, 6(2), p.40.
Khanka, S.S., 2014. Business Ethics and Corporate Governance (Principles and Practices). S. Chand Publishing.
Nelson, J., Smith, L.B. and Hunt, C.S., 2014. The migration toward ethical decision making as a core course into the b-school: instructional strategies and approaches for consideration. Journal of Education for Business, 89(1), pp.49-56.
Penenberg, A.L., 2014. Blood highways: The true story behind the Ford-Firestone killing machine. Wayzgoose Press.
Rossi, L. and TALLAHASSEE, F., 2013. FIRESTONE, FORCED LABOR, & FRED MATHEUS: THE 1930 LIBERIAN EXPOSÉ. WE BUILD OUR BRIDGES TOGETHER, p.845.
Schwartz, M.S., 2016. Ethical decision-making theory: An integrated approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(4), pp.755-776.
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