Programs designed to foster ethical decision making in business are controversial today because much unethical and illegal business conduct continues to occur even in organizations that have adopted such programs. Enron, BP, and JP Morgan are examples of organizations with codes of ethics that experienced ethical disasters. Many business leaders believe ethics initiatives should arise naturally from a company’s corporate culture and that simply hiring good employees limits unethical conduct. Moreover, business executives and board members often do not understand how organizational ethics can be systematically implemented. In business, many ethical issues are complex and require organizations to reach a consensus on appropriate action. Top executives and boards of directors must provide the leadership and a system to resolve these issues. Legislation and regulatory rules require leadership to create and implement effective ethics programs. These requirements come into play when misconduct is investigated by the government. Customized ethics and compliance programs assist businesses to provide guidance so employees from diverse backgrounds understand what behaviors are acceptable (and unacceptable) within the organization.
Reference: FERRELL, FRAEDRICH, AND FERRELL (2013). BUSINESS ETHICS (10th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Read the Case Study entitled “Mattel Responds to Ethical Challenges.”
Research the following sites:
Mattel Global Manufacturing Principles
How Mattel’s Quick Move Rescued Barbie
Using the following questions, create a video presentation:
1. Do manufacturers of products for children have special obligations to consumers and society? If so, what are these responsibilities?
2. How effective has Mattel been at encouraging ethical and legal conduct by its manufacturers? What changes and additions would you make to the company’s Global Manufacturing principles?
3. To what extent is Mattel responsible for issues related to its production of toys in China? How might Mattel have avoided these issues?
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