Business and Virtue Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Virtue ethics Pages: 7 (2353 words) Published: December 12, 2013


Trident University
Natalie McDaniel
Module 3 Case Assignment:
Business Ethics and Virtue Ethics
ETH 501: Business Ethics
Dr. Gary Shelton
November 14, 2013

Abstract
For the purposes of this assignment we will analyze the Mattel case and discuss the actions of the company regarding the behavior and actions in conjunction with the Global Manufacturing Process that was implemented. Breaches of the two business ethics elements of integrity and egoism will be assessed. Within the discussion I have identified the virtues prudence, justice, fidelity, and courage that were largely violated by the Mattel organization and how it affected the employees of Mattel. We will discuss the implications of virtue, deontological, and utilitarian ethics regarding their potential usefulness in evaluation of the Mattel case.

Introduction
Mattel’s concept of Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) was not a novel concept. The many forms of GMP including International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) have been around for decades and have worked to insure that specific industries are held to a standard that is industry wide. ISO’s model is “Say what you do, and do what you say”. When a company endeavors to become ISO qualified, it is required to document every activity (as a standard operating procedure, SOP) that occurs within the company and adhere to that process without deviation. ISO qualified companies are always subject to audit by other ISO registered companies and is initially audited by four such companies in order to acquire certification. Having been directly involved with ISO implementation at a former employer that supplied fasteners for manufacturing, I am fully aware of how involved the certification is. The company SOP was over 1000 pages. Additionally, another ISO company can and will come in and audit your company prior to electing to conduct business with your company. In some instances, ISO qualification is not enough to be awarded the business. The nutrition industry also adheres to the Good Manufacturing Practices, of which I was required to be certified in every year. Each department of the nutritional company I worked for had its own GMP standards that we were to adhere implicitly. The nutrition industry, while not regulated by the FDA, is controlled indirectly by the FDA. GMP is an FDA requirement. Having worked in two industries where the concept is not only expected, but required in some instances; I was not impressed by the fact that Mattel implemented GMP of their own volition for the sole purpose to improve public perception after misconduct was exposed by the media. Business Ethics Issue

The one word that I found that resonates throughout the article, whether spoken or implied, is “integrity”. The incoming CEO stated that Mattel would behave in all actions with “unwavering integrity” and that the company’s commitment to the GMP remained unequivocal and undiminished. (Sethi, Shapiro, Emelianova, pg. 490) Ironically, I identify the most noticeable and important business ethics issue as just that; a lack of integrity. Merriam Webster defines integrity as “the firm adherence to a code of especially moral value, the quality or sate of being complete or undivided, and the quality of being honest or fair. Mattel exhibited none of these traits insofar as where their GMP’s were concerned. In fact, there were numerous infractions regarding the non-enforcement of their GMP’s across the board in the Asia and Mexico based manufacturing facilities. The second ethics issue I identified was narcissism. Mattel implemented this GMP program with the attitude of ‘look at what we’re doing’ but with minimal effort to ensure the success of the program. According to Duchon and Drake (2009) extreme narcissistic organizations will establish these formal ethics programs but will not have much effect on hindering unethical...

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