The Case of the Sole Remaining Supplier

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Risk Pages: 3 (915 words) Published: July 24, 2012
The Case of the Sole Remaining Supplier

Though we live in a fast-paced ever-changing world today, we all still retain in us, an image of what an ethical community, an ethical society, or an ethical business should look like. We are all responsible in all levels of our society to act ethically as individuals and also as a community for the well being of all. “The Case of the Sole Remaining Supplier” exemplifies one of many such cases in business that puts board executives in a risky position of making ethical decisions that could make or break lives of those who are at stake. In this case, the board executives deliberate on what is more important, helping those whose lives heavily depended on the company’s supply of transistors or saving the company from an impending major financial loss. In the real world of business, sound judgment dictates against putting oneself in a position of producing and supplying a product where the risk of a lawsuit dwarfs financial reward. The question here is: should the company think purely with short-term perspective or think of the bigger picture, where the long-term benefit outweighs the short-term financial risk? Based on my values and ethical reasoning, I would choose the one that would benefit most of the stakeholders (consumers, pacemaker company, cardiologists, and the transistor company), though it may come at some short-term financial risk to the company. In order words, I will be taking the Utilitarianism approach since this case perfectly ties into it; using this approach, I would decide to continue selling the transistors to the pacemaker company. I believe this would provide the greatest balance of goods/benefits over harm(s). As a member of the board, I’ll be addressing factors that I considered in making my decision. The year 1975 saw the introduction of a new and promising medical technology called pacemakers, doctors across the nation started to implant it into needy patients. A patient’s...
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