From:Xavier Smith, Division Manager
Date:April 23, 2012
I am thrilled to join Company X’s management team. My colleagues have been stellar in providing me support and helping me accilmate to the organizational culture, which is different from what I am accustomed to.
I have encountered my first challenge, a challenge that is incumbent that I bring to your attention along with three detailed solutions, inclusive of attractive and detractive aspects of each. It is also important that I share with you the methodology I employed to arrive at these conclusions, since it is reasonable for you to have access to and test the methodology employed to engender these solutions. I will also recommend to you an appropriate course of action.
Separately, I will present a report, which will report the findings of an analysis that I conducted on our company’s ethical decision-making process. This report will include strategies to mitigate against concerns I will have raised in the memorandum. I will also discuss the process of creating a code of ethics that will provide for employee growth through ethical decision making and continued company revenue growth.
Company X is the leader in the production of toy whistles for children the world over. Our principal production plant is located within the United States and, naturally, is under the purview of production guidelines set forth by the U.S. government.
The quality-assurance department recently informed me of a production issue that has arisen. Toy whistles that have been manufactured and are on schedule for shipment undergo an arduous testing process to ensure that the constitution of each toy meets federal regulations. Toy whistles that will be shipped to South American countries have, unfortunately, failed lead-level requirements; they are slightly higher in lead than what is legally tolerable. Our company has decisions to make about how we address this considerable concern.
After analysis, collaboration with team members, and sufficient reflection, I have developed three solutions to address this concern. Each solution has attractive and detractive aspects, both of which I will discuss. Ethical, legal, and financial considerations must be made with all solutions.
Solution 1: Cease shipment; Re-produce Toy Whistles
At current lead levels, the toy whistle would not be shipped to customers. The entire production process would re-apply, which includes re-securing the raw materials necessary to make replacement whistles, re-producing those whistles through the production process, and commissioning the quality-assurance department to verify that the whistles meet all federal guidelines for selling and consumption. It will also be important that the quality-assurance department provide a quality verification of its own processes. Such a verification will be necessary, since antecedent quality processes failed to identify the higher-than-normal lead levels of our toy whistles.
Solution 1: Explanation of Method Used to Select Solution
A combination of brainstorming and SWOT analysis were employed to determine three solutions for our company’s quandary. The brainstorming process involved three team members who reviewed the situation and offered ideas—any ideas—as solutions. Each team member produced two ideas, totaling six possible solutions. The following is a breakdown of submissions by team members:
Bob Jones| Celine Jiles| Patti Durant|
Stop Production; Adjust Lead Levels| Continue Production; Bribe Foreign and Domestic Government| Stop Production; Offer Different Product| Stop Production; Make Plastic Whistles| Continue Production; Ignore Lead Levels| Stop Production; Close Business|
A SWOT analysis was performed on each decision alternative to test its integrity. SWOT is an acronym for “Strengths,” “Weaknesses,” “Opportunities,” and “Threats”...