Ethical dilemma case - Ethics Essay Example
The institutionalization of business ethics: ethical dilemma case Laws and regulations are established by governments to set minimum standards for responsible behavior-society’s codification of what is right and wrong - Ethical dilemma case introduction. The issues surrounding the impact of competition on business’s social responsibility arise from the rivalry among businesses for customers and profits. Intense competition sometimes makes managers feel that their company’s very survival is threatened. In these situations, managers may begin to see unacceptable alternatives as acceptable, and they may begin engaging in questionable practices to ensure the survival of their organizations. In the ethical dilemma case of Producto International (PI), Myron did a research about the betel nut tree and khat plant. Both of these plants present health dangers to humans, such as causing cancer, disorientation, suppress appetite and prevent sleep. Myron wanted to introduce these plants to pharmaceutical companies, however his boss David put him on the marketing team to develop strategies for introducing these to public. This is an issue involving social responsibility and the management of PI is motivated to sell products containing these plants, thereby present long-term danger to the public. The management wants to stay on top in the medicinal products industry and this affects their ethical choices. The company will be selling products containing health danger to people but will be profitable for sometimes until negative effects of such products are discovered. There are advantages and disadvantages in Myron’s decision to stay with PI. Myron will have his salary tripled and will have a chance to live in Hong Kong for some time, as well as to travel to different countries for research and marketing. Myron will be earning a lot of money so will be his wife, since she is an import-export agent for a subsidiary of PI. His decision to be on the marketing team and acceptance to be promoted can be considered as poor ethical choice. Aside from monetary benefits his position will provide him, he is involved in endangering public in different countries. Myron does not want to deny his promotion because his rejection can endanger his future in the pharmaceutical business industry. For now, he does not have much choice but to accept the position in the marketing team. Perhaps in a few years he will find a job with a more ethically responsible company. The disadvantage of Myron’s choice working on the project involves poor social responsibility.
Any products or ingredients which present serious health damage (such as khat and betel nut tree) should not be sold or marketed to the public, or have these products should have warnings on the packages. This way, public can decide whether they wish to endanger their health or not to buy such products. Other disadvantages involve long-term reputation damage to the company and to Myron. Whenever PI will have lawsuits involving consumer complaints regarding PI’s products, Myron will be involved in a lawsuit as well, because he was a part of the research and marketing, and he was aware of dangers khat and betel nut tree present. This can lead to end of his career in the business pharmaceuticals industry. The role of laws is not so much to distinguish what is ethical or unethical as to determine the appropriateness of specific activities or situations. Laws establish the basic ground rules for responsible business activities. Most of the laws and regulations that govern business activities fall into one of five groups: 1) regulation of competition, 2) protection of consumers, 3) promotion of equity and safety, 4) protection of the natural environment, and 5) incentives to encourage organizational compliance programs to deter misconduct. The Food and Drug Administration regulates food safety, human drugs, tobacco, dietary supplements, vaccines, medical devices, biological products, etc. Marketing products which are legal but have addictive properties is unethical. At least, it is unethical and socially irresponsible to market such products without warnings. Products which are addictive to humans should be sold only by prescription from a doctor and have proper warnings on them. People will be aware and make choices for themselves. Products containing khat and betel nut tree present long-term health dangers to the public and the FDA will certainly ban them from distribution.
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Ferrell, O., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2013). Business ethics. (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.