Case Analysis: Business Ethics in the Work Place

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CASE STUDY ASSESSMENT: CHAPTER ONE
By
David F. Dudley

Week #1
January 16, 2009

CASE STUDY ASSESSMENT: CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

This document presents my opinions about the cases presented in (Boatright, R.,

John (2003). Ethics and the Conduct of Business. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.)

and articles from (Ambrose, John (2009, January 16). My Own Opinion, The Washington

Case#1.1: Johnson & Johnson: The Tylenol Crisis

This case study was a powerful example to illustrate the presence of ethics within the

business environment today and the impacts they can have on not just shareholder’s

earnings, but on the public as a whole. First, we were presented with a shocking

situation. Seven people had died in January of 1982 from taking cyanide-laced capsules

of Extra-Strength Tylenol. The news made national headlines, and the CEO of Johnson

& Johnson, James Burke had to make some swift decisions about how the company

was going to handle this problem. What added insult to injury, was that Extra-Strength

Tylenol provided Johnson & Johnson with a large piece of the company’s total profits

which amounted to seventeen percent. The company was now in risk of loosing this

income at the hands of someone sabotaging their product line and the public was in

danger if they consumed it. The company had to find out what the cause was and how

to stop it. Had James Burke not acted swiftly, more people were at risk of being harmed

and Johnson & Johnson could be looking at disastrous failure. By adhering to the

Company Credo and pulling the product, he determined that the brand name could be

saved if Johnson & Johnson restored public confidence by doing what was in the best

interest for the public. This was the ethical decision that saved lives and the company.

Case #1.2. The Sales Rep

The case study titled “The Sales Rep” presents us with an interesting dilemma that forces

one to think about how they

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