Something’s Rotten in Hondo
The decision makers in the “Something’s Rotten in Hondo” are George the Plant Manager and Bill George’s boss. The Stakeholders are George, George’s family, the town of Hondo, Environmental Protection Agency, all who are affected by the plants pollution, the Mexican town, and the environment. George had moved from El Paso, Texas to Hondo, Texas with his family four years ago to assume the roll of the manager at Ardnak Plastic Inc. This plant manufactures plastic parts for small equipment and has several hundred workers from the town of Hondo. For the past few months George has been getting calls from his boss Bill because the emissions from the plants smokestacks were constantly above Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and if the problem is not resolved immediately there will be fines to pay. George has admitted this has been a constant problem but without new smokestack scrubbers, which corporate headquarters has denied, he was out of ideas. As George continued to contemplate this dilemma he began making phone calls to other Ardnak plants and discovered that they schedule the mass of their production at night to evade the Environmental Protection Agency periodic emission readings. A month later George, still contemplating on what to do had received another phone call from Bill expressing his discontentment. Bill reminded George that industrial jobs were hard to find and if a he could not find a solution to the problem then Ardnak would be have to move the company 15 miles south of Hondo to Mexico, where there is no Environmental Protection Agency. This relocation would result in a massive layoff and continue to pollute the air. George is faced with an immense ethical issue. Should he schedule production at night to evade the Environmental Protection Agency’s high emission readings or move the company to Mexican territory where there is no Environmental Protection Agency and be forced to hire Mexican workers. If George were to schedule the bulk of production at night, when the Environmental Protection Agency does not take emission readings, Ardnak Plastic Inc. would be able to remain in Hondo and hundred of workers would not lose their jobs. This of course would not resolve the constant concern of the level of pollutants being pumped into the air on a daily biases. By applying Kant’s Categorical Imperative Theory, Mill’s theory or Utilitarianism, Kohlberg’s Level of Moral Development Theory, John Locke’s Theory of Rights, and John Rawls Theory of Justice we are able to consider several ethical and socially responsible alternatives to George’s decision-making process. Ethics and social responsibility is the backbone of American businesses, or at least they should be. Whether a business or an individual has good or bad ethical standards they must uphold their social responsibilities and conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. Often, it is harder to go through with a morally correct decision even though they know it is the right thing to do. More often than not, the temptation to take the easy way out, such as Ardnak Plastic Inc. is suggesting by moving the plant to Mexico to evade the Environmental Protection Agency, is irresistible to most. People and business’s have obligations to do what is right and to not hurt other people. Ethics involves people’s perceptions about what “should” be. Most people are ethical because of what they believe to be right. Ethics and social responsibility are of growing importance in today’s economic world. In the long run they will make or break a company. This takes us back to a saying: “cheaters never win”. Running a clean and honest business not only puts the individual ahead in life; it will also move the organization forward with a clean conscience. Stakeholders will recognize that they are being treated fairly and continue to return to a company that provides good, ethical services. Stakeholders do not want to deal with someone...
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