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Ethics In The Workplace - Essay Example

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The reporter states that in 1978, Ford Motor Co. faced a problem that would result in a loss for the company. In the person of its leader, Lee Iacocca, an ethical decision must be made that would likely affect the lives of the organization and its consumers…
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Download file to see previous pages These are due to the unsafe design of the Pinto’s fuel tank, which were known to the company’s engineering when they conducted a trial or test collision of a said car model.  Yet still, the management wanted to release the Pinto car to the market despite glitches in the car’s structure.  They had identified alternative solutions in improving the design but did not implement it due to the additional $11 cost of its building expense. In the process, this would mean higher cost of the Pinto car, which would be against Iacocca’s set goal of “the limits of 2000”, meaning cost would not exceed $2000 and would not weight more than 2000 pounds.  Iacocca set the said goal in the assumption that Pinto buyers are extremely price conscious.  The most severe symptom of the problem was when charges of reckless homicide against Ford Motor Co. were filed by its consumers.
Assessing the situation, the root problem can be linked to several actual problems and these are 1) Ford leader’s response to rigid competition in the car market, 2) Ethical values of the leaders of Ford that affects their decisions, 3) Lack of Total Quality Management (TQM) and 4) Lack of strict guidelines by the government during 1968 to 1977 that would protect the consumers or general public.
One of Ford leaders’ responsibilities is to maintain the competitiveness of the company to the market and its employees. During the stringent competition in a motor industry, Iacocca may have thought or felt the stress in maintaining Ford’s being on the forefront of motor industry market.  In his decisions, he needed to think of creative ways of producing a car model that would exceed the cars released by competing company like the Germans that cost less both for the buyers and Ford and would benefit the largest number of people.  His decision was consistent with business decisions called Utilitarian theory, where costs and benefits can be calculated in dollars and this framework are guided by ethical decisions of generating greatest benefits for the largest number of people (Daft 1992). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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