Case Study Action Plan

Topics: Tylenol, McNeil Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson Pages: 9 (2982 words) Published: December 16, 2009
RUNNING HEAD: Johnson and Johnson Case Study Action Plan

Johnson and Johnson Case Study Action Plan


This paper briefly summarizes the action plan case study of Johnson and Johnson. Seven people had died after ingesting Tylenol, a painkiller that was produce by McNeil Laboratories, a Johnson & Johnson division. The Tylenol was mix with cyanide poisoning. Johnson and Johnson realized that the tragic event was not the company’s fault but an external sabotage. In addition, Learning Team C proposes an action plan that determines all the facts: symptoms of problems, root problems, unresolved issues, roles of key players, ethical issues involved, alternative, and recommendation for Johnson and Johnson.

Johnson and Johnson Case Study Action Plan

Business ethics is about understanding the difference between right and wrong within the workplace and doing the right thing. Organizational culture sets the tone for how employees expected to act in ethical situations. According to Nelson and Trevino (2004), “Organizations must care about ethics because workers depend on them to help define the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.” (p. 23) Ethical issues can be very complex because of the many stakeholders. Organizations must determine their ethical obligations to the stakeholders before determining a response. The following paragraphs will evaluate Johnson and Johnson’s response to the Tylenol poisonings that occurred in September 1982. The evaluation will include the symptoms of the problem, root problems, unresolved issues, roles of the key players, and ethical issues involved. The paper will also recommend an alternative action plan. Symptoms and root of problems

McNeil Consumer Products are the manufacturers of Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules and its parent company is Johnson & Johnson. Tylenol is an over-the-counter drug that is a leader in the field of pain killers.

In 1982, a batch of Tylenol Extra-Strength capsules laced with cyanide and resealed in their packages was put on the shelves of pharmacies and food stores in the Chicago area. The general belief is that these acts are the work of individuals with a grudge against Johnson and Johnson and its pharmaceutical division. This nefarious activity resulted in the death of at least seven people died and the illness and hospitalization of many others. Faced with repairing the damage done to the image of the company and the popularity of the product, the company employed various mechanisms to cope with this serious problem. In situations such as this immediate and decisive action is necessary and the company must employ public relations techniques to ensure positive public acceptance of its image. The symptoms of cyanide poisoning are low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, headache, drowsiness, convulsions, coma, and sometimes result in the death of persons who ingest this substance.

In terms of the symptoms and root causes of the Tylenol cyanide poisoning scandal, primary concerns center on the fact that, before the scandal erupted there were insufficient safeguards against product tampering and enforcement of rules and regulations with regard to packaging. The company, by employing swift and decisive action in its handling of the situation, made tremendous headway in weathering the storm and minimizing the controversy surrounding circumstances in this case. As a result the product eventually has been able to attain some modicum of respectability. Upon discovery of the association between the deaths and the product, the company immediately went on the offensive taking steps to inform the public of the salient facts, using due diligence to find the sources of the poisoning. Making a determination about whether the introduction of the cyanide into the product occurred as a result of internal or external factors.

When the connection was made between the Tylenol capsules and the reported deaths, the main problem...

References: Johnson & Johnson. (2009) Retrieved on December 3, 2009, from
McNeil-PPC. (2009). About Tylenol/McNeil. Retrieved: November 30, 2009 from:
Nelson, K., & Trevino, L. (2004). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley
Susi, Reyna. (2002). The Tylenol Crisis, 1982. Retrieved on December 3, 2009, from
Tainted Tylenol capsules tied to death of New Yorker from cyanide poisoning. (1986, Wall Street Journal). p. 2. Retrieved from Proquest Historical Newspapers December 5, 2009 from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • case study Essay
  • Case Study Essay
  • case study Essay
  • Google's Case Study Plan Essay
  • Essay about Case Study
  • Essay about Mk Case Study
  • Action plans Essay
  • Case Study 1 Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free