Business Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Consumer Product Safety Commission Pages: 5 (1376 words) Published: December 12, 2010
HD Student Assignment for HC2121 in Trimester 1, 2010 2. How effective has Mattel been at encouraging ethical and legal conduct by its manufacturers? What changes and additions would you make to the company’s Global Manufacturing Principles? ____________________________________________________________

__ ‘Good ethics is good business and bad ethics is bad business are connected’ (Burton & Goldsby 2010). Mattel has been quite effective at encouraging ethical and legal conduct. It has developed its Global Manufacturing Principles for sub contractors and global manufacturers. These ‘including employee health and safety, environmental management and ensuring that employees are treated fairly and with respect, to the cultural, ethnic and philosophical differences of the countries where Mattel operates’ (Mattel Inc. 2010). Mattel also assists its manufacturers to meet its Global Manufacturing Principles or code of conduct. However, ‘if a business partner is either unable or unwilling to work with Mattel in order to meet and maintain its standards, Mattel is prepared to end the working relationship’ (Mattel Inc. 2010). Although Mattel has a good Global Manufacturing Principles, it also needs to update its principles in timely manner. The nature of business is rapidly changing nowadays. As Mattel is operating more than one hundred countries across the world, sometimes it is hard to control all the production facilities or code of conduct of sub contractors. To resolve this problem, Mattel can tighten its principles by specifying different principles in different regions based on ethics, local culture and law and work force. Another change Mattel could take into consideration is it should monitor the implementation of its Global Manufacturing Principles frequently, rather than to set the principles and do nothing. Finally, Mattel must tell its customers and stakeholders if any possible hazards or dangers occur using a product. Some ‘companies do not tell consumers about accidents even after they have withdrawn products from sale’ (Pearlman & Ryle 2009). It is moral duty of a company to notify the users.


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HD Student Assignment for HC2121 in Trimester 1, 2010 3. To what extent is Mattel responsible for issues related to its production of toys in China? How might Mattel have avoided these issues? ____________________________________________________________

__ In 2006-2007, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Mattel recalled 13,970,000 units of toys from China due to problem with products. Most of the problems emerged due to lead paint and small loose magnets (Gilbert & Wisner, 2010). In a servery it was revealed that the most frequently manifested emotion associated with the Mattel product recall across time was 49% anger in people’s mind (Choi & Lin 2009). There are many ways Mattel is responsible for this collapse. First, the chinse company had been sub contracting another company, which is not approved by Mattel, ultimately supplied the lead paint in the product. Second, in their monthly audit they did not check the quality of each product, which they should have checked. The chinse manufacturer did the quality control and they did not do it properly. Third, Mattel simply failed to make good design for toys, which caused the loose magnet hazards (Gilbert & Wisner, 2010). Mattel might have avoided the above issues if they made several design changes in their products which caused the loose magnet problem. This problem is not because of production is China. If it was produced in the U.S.A. it also caused the same problem as did in China. On the other hand, the lead paint problem were occurs due to sufficient supervision in the supply chain management of Mattel’s. There should be more monitoring and controlling needed in the manufacturing chain. Although it was a complex process to manage such a huge...

References: Abbas, MI, Bamberger, HB & Gebhart, RW 2004, Home treadmill injuries in infants and children aged to 5 years: A review of Consumer Product Safety Commission data and an illustrative report of case, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Vol. 104, No. 9, pp. 372-376, Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, Scopus. Burton, BK & Goldsby MG 2010, The Moral Floor: A Philosophical Examination of the Connection Between Ethics and Business, JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS, Vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 145-154, Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, Web of Science, DOI 10.1007/s10551-009-0074-4. Choi, Y & Lin, Y 2009, Consumer Responses to Mattel Product Recalls Posted on Online Bulletin Boards: Exploring Two Types of Emotion, JOURNAL OF PUBLIC RELATIONS RESEARCH, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 198207. Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, Web of Science, DOI: 10.1080/10627260802557506. Gilbert, J & Wisner, J 2010, Mattel, Lead Paint, and Magnets: Ethics and Supply Chain Management, Ethics & Behavior; Philadelphia, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 33-46. Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, ABI/INFORM Global, DOI: 10.1080/10508420903482491. Keating, G 2008, U.S. appeals court weighs Mattel Bratz case, Viewed 25th April 2010 from Mattel Inc. 2009, Global Citizenship Report, Viewed 25th April 2010 from Mattel Inc. 2010, Global Manufacturing Principles, Viewed 25th April 2010 from
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HD Student Assignment for HC2121 in Trimester 1, 2010 Mattel Inc. 2010, Mattel Named One of the "World 's Most Ethical Companies" Again in 2010, Viewed 25th April 2010 from 83 Michaelson, C 2010. Revisiting the Global Business Ethics Question, BUSINESS ETHICS QUARTERLY, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 237-251, Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, Web of Science. Pearlman, J & Ryle, G 2009, Rethink on child safety laws, Viewed 25th April 2010 from The New York Times 2008, Jury Rules for Mattel in Bratz Doll Case, Viewed 25th April 2010 from Tseng, HC, Duan, CH, Tung, HL & Kung, HJ 2010, Modern business ethics research: Concepts, theories, and relationships, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 91,No. 4, pp. 587-597, Viewed 25th April 2010, Academic Search Complete database, Scopus, DOI 10.1007/s10551-009-0133-x.
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