Answer: Ohio Art Company's Decision

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Sample Answers to Questions 1 and 2.

Most of you did well on questions 3 and 4, so here I post only sample answers to questions 1(a) & (b) and 2:

1(a) & 1(b): Question on whether moving production to China is ethical; Question on the economic and social costs and benefits of such a move.

Sample Answer (A)

Note: this student earned high grades for looking at the issue from multiple perspectives, for looking at the benefits and costs to all major stakeholders, and for acknowledging that moving productions overseas is a controversial topic. Excellent use of facts to support his/her claim.

1. Whether or not Ohio Art Company’s decision to shift production offshore was ethically wrong is a controversial topic. In strictly business terms, Ohio Art Company (OAC) did not break any laws or perform an illicit act; OAC’s decision to offshore was one that had few other options – if the company did not find ways to lower production costs, the company would have eventually gone bankrupt. If production had not been moved, OAC would have been unable to lower production costs, and would therefore be unable to generate enough profits to continue business. Either way, OAC employees would have suffered job losses. Furthermore, OAC’s decision benefited shareholders, which is one element of judging an ethical decision; there are no standards that prohibit off shoring. However, OAC’s obligations to its employees are something that must be considered as well. The company, which is perceived as a family, should not just abandon its employees; it this sense, the company holds moral obligations and employment practices which complicate the question of whether outsourcing is ethical.

Sample Answer (B)

Note: This student combined 1(a) and 1(b) but made it perfectly clear. Again, the student considered the question of ethics from multiple perspectives, and weighed the benefits and costs to various stakeholders and clearly defined what standards (s)he adopted....
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