CASE 4.2: A FRIEND FOR LIFE
1. Is the recommendation of the marketing vice president legal? Is it ethical? Why or why not? The marketing vice president has recommended that production continue using the substitute fur. While this is not illegal, since there are no laws specifically governing what type of simulated fur is used, it is unethical to delude the public into thinking the product is of high quality when the material is actually of low quality. Especially since the company knows exactly what it is doing in trading away good faith and trust for the sake of profits. Figure 6.2 is useful in understanding this dilemma.
2. Would it be ethical if the firm used less-expensive simulated fur but did not change its slogan of "A Friend for Life" and did not tell the buyer about the change in the production process? Why or why not? No, it would not be ethical since the firm had already produced 26,000 bears with the higher quality simulated fur that lasts seven years. The continued production of bears under the same slogan "A Friend for Life" but with lower-quality simulated fur expected to last only eight months is consumer fraud. Thus, while the legal question may be debated as to the actual fraud, the ethics question is not debatable. This is a prime example of disregard for ethics.
3. If you were advising Paula, what would you recommend?
As an adviser to Paula, you should utilize Table 6.3, which illustrates the various approaches to management ethics. The column dealing with "moral management" explains the different aspects of ethics concerned with motives, goals, orientation to the law, and strategy. The strategy segment especially applies to Paula in that she must assume a leadership role when ethical dilemmas arise. In dealing with consumers, enlightened self- interest means that by having concern for others (consumers), you are also taking care of yourself (business) in the future. Thus, Paula will find that either full disclosure to...
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