Identification of Dilemma
According to Meijaard & Sheil (2012), any business person finds himself or herself in routine arguments. The argument calls for thought decision on the ways to hand the situation. The overall ethical dilemma has confronted George, the manager of the Beech-Nut company, who is in a situation of making a difficult choice for the sake of the company’s operations. The passion that George has developed towards the organization is too big to be under-rate by anyone. George is in a dilemma whether to agree with his boss’s new agreements on whether to continue producing the products with the bogus apple juice concentrate or not and make a risk of closing the plant. George does not want to transgress his moral principle by accepting Bill’s decisions on purchasing lower-cost apple juice concentrates, which is bogus, but the fear of losing his job pressures him to accept.
The dilemma calls for the management to decide on the structure, strategy, action plans, and budgets to incurred to ensure the stability of Beech Nut. A study by Panța (2017) established that debates and arguments are inevitable. Therefore the organization must come up with the best policies to overcome the menace. Beech Nut must make a hard choice considering the dilemma on their hands. Bring the organization back from grave financial trouble will involve the selection of the best policies. The financial dilemma in the hand of the organization reduces the ability of the organization to penetrate other markets. Right, collide, which happens as an argument between individuals in the organization, creates an ethical dilemma.
Beech Nut is also experiencing ‘good for the unit versus good for the whole’ dilemma. The dilemma is evident when George and Bill are arguing on whether to adopt a new low-cost supplier or to work with the old suppliers. The move to have a new cheap supplier would mean a reduced cost of production for the firm. On the other hand, the move to have a new supplier would mean an end to the old contract with the previous suppliers.
The contextual forces from Bill Bailiff are influencing George to breach the business ethics to save the company from shutting down because of the high operation costs. George is in a difficult situation about the ramifications of his looming decision. Bill seems to know about the bogus apple juice concentrate, which for many years was used in the production of beech-nut, which confuses George further. Use of bogus apple juice concentrate made of cane sugar syrup, beet sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients, as discovered by one of George’s plant scientists, is a breach of the company’s ethics. George has the power to order the workers to stop the production using the bogus apple concentrates, but the pressure to turn the ailing company forces him to compromise.
The stakeholders to be impacted by the ethical dilemma include the manager, shareholders, suppliers, the workers and the consumers. The consumers of Beech-Nut products are mainly children who will be highly affected by the consumption of low-quality products. In case the FDA investigation finds out that the Beech-Nut company is selling adulterated and misbranded products, the company will be closed, sending many to jail and high penalties. The other stakeholders who are to be impacted by the movement made by Beech Nut are the suppliers. The suppliers who had a contract with the organization are likely to terminate. The termination process will affect both the organization and its suppliers. The suppliers will lose income through reduced sales, while the organization is likely to lack future supplies for apple juice.
The Utilitarian Approach
The utilitarian is also known as the Benefit approach, is a form of consequentialist managerial ethic that promotes doing what gives many benefits to a large number of business stakeholders. The principle of benefits approach in managerial ethics considers the actions with many benefits to the company and the target market as the most appropriate. The Utilitarian approach requires that an individual in a company need to sacrifice the most basic thing for the sake of the majority group.
The utilitarian approach of managerial ethics stresses the need to make decisions that are solely based on the outcomes or consequences of a taken action in a business operation. Similarly, the utilitarian perspective on managerial ethics hinges on facts that a decision or any form of action undertaken in the business environment should provide great benefits to many people either directly or indirectly. The managerial ethics taking the perspective of utilitarianism encourages the efficiency in business operations that translates to productivity because every individual is benefitting from the decision.
The deontological approach is a managerial ethic perspective that requires ethical decisions in an organization to take into consideration the universal rules and principles of business. The deontological approach calls for the set ethics are verifiable to ensure equitable treatment of all people unless there are moral differences between them. The deontology type of ethic is usually high standard actions that emphasis that an ethical manager to make the right decisions that promote good actions in a business environment.
According to Brücker (2018).the deontological approach requires the ethical managers to act accordingly in a manner that respects the autonomy of the working community and the product’s consumers. Based on deontological based criteria for ethical managers, all the stakeholders are required to make ethical actions that are highly guided by the moral principles about the business operations.
Importance of Deontological Approach
The approach ensures that organizations operate within the right path. According to Brücker (2018), the approach to ethics determines what wrong or right action to be taken by a firm is. Notably, Beech Nut company can decide on whether to work with the new suppliers offering them cheap input or continue with the old trusted suppliers. The approach ensures that all the factors that an organization used to get to a certain outcome are justified. Panța (2017), stated that the deontological approach is concerned with the means as opposed to utilitarian, which is concentrates on the end results.
The Utilitarian Approach
The utilitarian is also known as the Benefit approach, is a form of consequentialist managerial ethic that promotes doing what gives many benefits to a large number of business stakeholders. The principle of benefits approach in managerial ethics considers the actions with many benefits to the company and the target market as the most appropriate. The Utilitarian approach requires that an individual in a company need to sacrifice the essential thing for the sake of the majority group.
The utilitarian approach of managerial ethics stresses the need to make decisions that are solely based on the outcomes — also, the consequences of a taken action in a business operation. Similarly, the utilitarian perspective on managerial ethics hinges on facts that a decision or any form of action undertaken in the business environment should provide great benefits to many people either directly or indirectly. The managerial ethics taking the perspective of utilitarianism encourages the efficiency in business operations that translates to productivity because every individual is benefitting from the decision.
The deontological approach is a managerial ethic perspective that requires ethical decisions in an organization to take into consideration the universal rules and principles of business. The deontological approach calls for inclusivity and that the set ethics are verifiable to ensure equitable treatment of all people. The deontology type of ethic is usually high standard actions that emphasis that an ethical manager to make the right decisions that promote good actions in a business environment.
According to Loewy & Loewy (2007), the deontological approach requires ethical managers to act accordingly in a manner that respects the autonomy of the working community and the product’s consumers. Based on deontological based criteria for ethical managers, all the stakeholders are required to make ethical actions that are highly guided by the moral principles about the business operations.
Evaluation of Ethical Dilemma
George’s situation is quite difficult, and making any decision regarding the Bill proposal on continuing the production of Beech-Nut products with bogus con concentrates is unethical. George is likely to take a deontological managerial approach. George, being an experienced manager, will require making a decision based on the deontological approach. George will consider doing what is right based on his moral principles without breaching business ethics. What will compel George to do what is right is the family he has, which he may not want to lose in case the company is identified by the investigators to have been producing ‘fake’ products. Secondly, the company’s scientist is already aware of the bogus concentrate, and he may disclose to the employees who, when spread to the public, will expose George to a risk of imprisonment.
Rejecting Bill’s proposal on continuing with production operations that are adulterated and misbranded production of the Beech-nut products will be the best choice that George can make. Disagreeing with the boss decided to produce low qualities Beech Nut products for the sake of saving the company from closing will not mean that George is not a good leader. George will be correcting a mistake that can have far much effect to the management as well as the employees. George will be responsible for saving the stakeholders and company based on the decision he makes. The employees do not have the power to decline the management decisions on producing unstandardized products despite them knowing that they are breaching the organization’s ethics.
The deontological managerial approach will require George to reject Bill’s proposal on getting new supplies of low cost that are bogus. George destroying the bogus inventory and ordering withdraw of the juices from the grocer’s shops will be considered wrong even if the consequences will be for the good of all. The action of declining Bill’s new agreement will be right because George will be doing his ethical duties of a manager, which is independent of the consequences. Despite risking plant closure, George should uphold the managerial ethics that are unconditional and applicable to all people in the business.
Continuing producing low-quality products for the sake of profit maximization will expose the company to more severe issues closure of the plant indefinitely. Any suspicion or disclosure of this secret by the employees or any other person to the Federal Government Agency (FDA) investigators will render the management into severe troubles and also risk imprisonment of the company’s stakeholders. Instead, look into other factors that may help the company reduce the operation costs.
Implications of the Decision
George’s decision to destroy the bogus inventory will much beneficial to Beech-Nut consumers. The consumers will pay for real products that meet their expectations, and that suits them. A change in production ingredients will also help increase the sales of the product because the original customers of the products will likely send referrals and friends for purchase. Also, the employees will feel secure and will not in a state of fear that they may lose a job in case the investigators storm in their company and find their fake ingredients. The company’s management will be more conscious in analyzing the factors that may be cumulatively resulting in increased cost of operations and make the right decisions.
The positive implications that Georges’s decision will make on producing products with the right ingredients is that the company will maximize its efforts in value-adding and brand developments. The efforts will result in the company being cautious of any resource wastage. The company’s need to get back from its financial breakdown to stable operations will force the company to adopt new technology that will enable their products to be more competitive to win a large customer base. The company will also be open to new opportunities that will enable it to maximize profits by doing activities such as value addition and developing other new products. Lastly, the company will also portray a new positive image to the target customers as well as to the employees, which will result to the company winning more consumers resulting in an increase in sales.
Negative implication is inescapable in the adoption of the deontological approach for managerial ethics in any business operation. Gorge’s decision will result in conflicts between certain duties and rights. Bill and other shareholders will not agree with George’s decision as they will be in favor of rescuing the plant from closure by demanding production with low-cost bogus products. The shareholders will be looking at short-term goals by encouraging higher production with low-cost juice concentrates on maximizing the profits without minding the customer’s needs. Similarly, George may face opposing opinions from the workers with fear of plant closure, which will lead to their job loss. George is likely to be fired if Bill will not find a sense of the matter that the manager will be addressing and preventing for the security of the company’s operations.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarian Approach
The utilitarian approach is essential in the history of man for planning. The process begins with the identification of a dilemma that is facing an organization. After the identification of a dilemma, the arguing parties begin to negotiate about what should be done. The utilitarian approach provides the negotiating parties a way to solve the menace. Furthermore, utilitarian analyzes any action in terms of its outcomes and consequences of the dilemma in an organization (Panța, 2017). The result and consequences of a dilemma can include the best cost and benefits to the stakeholders. The last importance of the approach is that the utilitarian approach holds every party view’s thus, the end outcome considers all equal decisions of all stakeholders. The disadvantage of the utilitarian is that it is only concerned with the ends and not the means (Brücker, 2018). The concentration of ends may result in the application of crooked means to achieve good results.
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