Case Study: Etch-a-Sketch Ethics

Topics: Bryan, Ohio Pages: 2 (441 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Case: Etch-A-Sketch Ethics
It was ethical of the Ohio Art Company to move to production to China. While this left the small town of Bryan, Ohio in a bad situation with the tax base eroding and a rise in foreclosures, this situation would have occurred anyhow if the company had stayed. This is because the Ohio Art Company was losing money by keeping production in Bryan and would have had to eventually shut down production altogether. They could not afford the overhead costs as well as the labor costs while keeping the cost of the product low for retailers without losing significant money. The company would not have survived if it stayed in Bryan. The situation the town was left in was the social and economic cost of the decision to move production to China while the lower costs of labor and overhead were the economic benefit.

If the working conditions described in The New York Times article are correct, it would be unethical to keep production with Kin Ki. The Ohio Art Company could lose business and respect by keeping production with Kin Ki with the working conditions present. Not only are they unfavorable based on an employment practices aspect, the working conditions violate the law in the Shenzhen province. The Ohio Art Company would not be acting ethically from an employment practices or legal aspect if it kept production with Kin Ki.

It could be possible that the Ohio Art Company had no knowledge of the labor problems at Kin Ki. However, I think this is unlikely. The reason I believe this is because of the strikes that took place in 2003 before the article was written in The New York Times. This should have come to the attention of executives at the Ohio Art Company since they have production at Kin Ki. This should have been a red flag to check out the working conditions and possibly intervene.

The Ohio Art Company must take certain steps to ensure this type of scandal does not happen again. The first, according to the text, would be to determine...
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