Virtue Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Virtue ethics Pages: 5 (1945 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Our case this module, one of virtue ethics, brings us to a systematic overhaul of one of the largest toy making companies in the world in Mattel. The overhaul took place during almost the entire first decade of the second century. The over haul was in compliance with the Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP). This is an amazing case that I feel is similar to inflicting pain on yourself in order to get used to pain therefore a stronger and better person. The thing that I do not understand is that conflict, pain and problems do not create character but simply reveal it. Regardless of my feelings on character issues the toy maker Mattel did set out do so something quite unusual for a corporation of their size in trying to comply with the GMP. The “GMP called for the creation of and independently and externally based monitoring system that would verify Mattel’s compliance with it code of conduct in a manner that would be credible to the public and engender trust in Mattel’s GMP-related performance claims” (Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, & Emelianova, 2011, p.487). What they implemented enacted, but ultimately terminated over the course of a nine year life was described as “totally unprecedented” (Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, & Emelianova, 2011, p.487) by Prof. S. Prakash Sethi. Sethi was one of the people hired to conduct operations to identify and explore any immoral or unethical procedures in the company’s labor culture. We are going to be looking at this case in the context of Virtue Ethics and seeing how a few of the virtuous attributes, that shined the brightest in my eyes, attempted to ratify and create anew their corporate labor culture. The virtuous attributes that stand out to me in the case and the one’s I would like to highlight are those of Idealism, Accountability and Consideration. Idealism is the belief in or pursuance of ideals (Collins English Dictionary, 2009). It is also defined as the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. ( LLC, 2012). Idealists see the world for what it can and should be. They strive for a more utopian and harmonious existence for all. In my experience with idealists, they tend to look at the broader spectrum of possibilities and while, at times, they may see out of touch with the world, they are needed to make advancements and improvements that realists literally would not even dream of. Like many ventures, the idealistic mentality that creating Mattel Independent Monitoring Council (MIMC) to have a base line of what Mattel should be as a company. “MIMCO would in fact be verifying the quality and veracity of audits conducted by Mattel’s own people.”(Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, & Emelianova, 2011, p.495). The idea of creating a workplace that was safe, productive and profitable is a noble cause. It would not only be profitable in the fact that consumers would feel better about buying their products but the workers would be more productive in a work area that holds higher standards for itself. It has been a personal experience of mine that the higher the standards you have for yourself are the higher the standards those working for you will have as well “The creation of an audit protocol, including a detailed 75-page checklist for quantifying conditions inside every one of Mattel’s factories and vendor plants” (Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, & Emelianova, 2011, p.489) is without a doubt unprecedented and noble.

The reason that I believe the idealism did not last is because ideals are not something that you can realistically regulate. Ideals are something to always strive for and should be set to high to reach but not to high that you cannot be successful at least a majority of the time. Mattel set their ideals as rules, not as ideals. They did not change their culture; they tried to change the rules. This created tension throughout the different processing plants and were hurting more than they were helping. Now that we’ve looked at their...

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