A Case Study of the H.B. Fuller Case on Honduras: Street Children and Substance Abuse

Topics: Honduras, Drug addiction, Inhalant Pages: 11 (3824 words) Published: April 13, 2007
As the CEO of the H.B Fuller Company, I have a great degree of first-hand knowledge and can honestly say that when it comes to business ethics, few American corporations have a better image than the H.B. Fuller Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. We are a leading manufacturer of industrial glues, coatings and paints, having won various awards, honors and inclusion in a variety of socially conscious mutual funds, all of which attest to our standing as a good corporate citizen. Recently, however, its handling of a stubborn image-staining problem has tainted our reputation. Specifically, there was illegal abuse of its shoemaker's glue by homeless Central American children who became addicted to the product's intoxicating and dangerous fumes (Henriques, 1995, p. 1). By ignoring this very serious issue we are indirectly saying to businesses and stakeholders, the community and society in general that we are concerned with financial gain at the expense of people's safety. Such perceptions, however, are in direct contrast to our vision statement and it is of the utmost importance that we make all necessary changes to restore the faith of both the public and private sectors. One of the ways that this can be accomplished is through a series of commercials that address the fatal affects of "huffing" glue and which will erase the pairing of our brand name to drug use. In conjunction with various subsidized drug awareness programs, we can save costs in combating our recent negative publicity, restoring our profits and, more importantly, saving lives. A first step will be to add a warning label or disclaimer directly to each tube of glue that may be harmful if inhaled. An additional and well-documented plan is to add oil of mustard to the product, which will make it less attractive to inhale. In addition, for approximately one year a portion of our proceeds will be reinvested into programs that will provide counseling to children about the dangers of drug abuse. Furthermore, we plan to work with the local government to educate locals about financial opportunities in their area, the lack of which is the primary cause of escape and overdosing. The overriding and primary plan will be to implement a well thought out CSR (corporate social responsibility) plan, the foundation of which has been outlined above. Our vision statement ought to serve as our guide.

Vision StatementH.B. Fuller's following vision statement includes our purpose and mission to be a leader in our industry as well as our commitment to our stakeholders:Our purpose is to deliver value to our customers using knowledgeable people and the best technologies.

Our mission is to be a leading worldwide formulator, manufacturer and marketer of technology-driven specialty chemical products and related services and solutions.

We are committed to the balanced interests of our customers, employees, shareholders and communities. We will conduct business ethically and profitably, and exercise leadership as a responsible corporate citizen.

Our commitment is to continually:Enhance our capabilities;Expand our presence in existing markets and our brand identities;Extend our reach geographically and through new businesses;Execute our strategies with urgency and discipline;Energize our employees by creating a culture that recognizes performance, values contributions, celebrates success, and respects work-life balance (H.B. Fuller, 2006, p. 1 - 2).

H.B. Fuller's environment, health and safety efforts are guided by the following missionstatement:"We will be a responsible company with respect to the environment, health, and safety by operating in a manner that protects our customers, employees, shareholders and communities.

We will provide the resources and technology to develop, implement, and maintain environmental, health and safety programs that support the achievement of company goals" (H. B. Fuller, 2006, p. 1 -2).

According to our vision and mission statements we are...

References: ndersen, E.L. 95, Ex-Minnesota Governor. (2004, November 17). The New YorkTimes. p. A27.
"GDP." (2001, January 2). Global Business Center [Online]. Retrieved September 26,2006, from http://www.glreach.com/gbc/en/Englishphp3"H. B. Fuller, About Us." (2006, September 24). This is H.B. Fuller [Online]. RetrievedSeptember 24, 2006, from http://www.hbfuller.com/About_Us/index.shtml#P0_0Henriques, D. B. (1995, November 26). Black Mark for a "Good Citizen." Money andBusiness/Financial Desk: The New York Times, p. NA.
Jeffrey, P. (1995, December). Glue Maker 's Image Won 't Stick [Online]. RetrievedSeptember 24, 2006 from http://pangaea.org/street_children/latin/fuller.htmlKokmen, L. (2000, February 9). Coming Unglued. City Pages Online [Online].
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Fuller To Handle: Litigators want to paste company with "wrongfuldeath" suit over child 's misuse of product. Business Ethics [Online]. RetrievedSeptember 27, 2006, from http://pangaea.org/street_children/latin/ethics.htmLee, L. (1996, August 30). Free, unlimited energy brightens rural Honduras -- but at acost. Honduras This Week [Online]. Retrieved September 26, 2006 from,http://www.marrder.com/htw/aug96/national.htmlN 'Kaoua, L. (1993, August 11). The Sweet Smell of Success (Part 2 of 2) [Online].
Retrieved September 23, 2006 from,http://pangaea.org/street_children/latin/citypg2.htmlShah, V. (2005, September 28). Prices Rise, But So Do Costs. Chemical Week, 167, 42Honduras. (2006, September 24). Wikipedia Encyclopedia RetrievedSeptember 24, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honduras
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