Business Ethics Assignment: The Corporation and Social
Responsibility (Paper #2)
To: Board of Directors, TEN AG
Subject: Resolutions for Eric Cartman’s position in the company
In August, our company lost $120 million, experienced a slump in stock values, and the company’s reputation was adversely affected after putting an unfinished perfume on the market. As you may know, Eric Cartman is the project manager of the new perfume line that our research team has been working on. Cartman is fully responsible for the company losses since all of the decisions made within this project went through him. He made a decision to put an unfinished perfume on the shelves even though it could discolor clothes when used improperly. Cartman justified his actions by simply placing a disclaimer of the product’s label. Our close competitor unraveled this flaw in our product and informed the public that it discolored clothes. As the president of this company, it is among my obligations to find a solution to the issue of whether to retain Cartman in our company and offer him another opportunity or fire him because of his role in facilitating the huge mishap.
By advertising this product and placing it in the market the company lost customer loyalty, decreased its stock value, and the company’s reputation was injured. The three parties involved in this decision are the company, our customers and Cartman. The decision to firing Cartman would be the fair one but it would detrimental to his family and it would mean the loss of skilled workforce on the part of the company. On the other hand, it is argued that Cartman also faced an ethical dilemma and had to choose between listening to the marketing team or the research team. This decision involves two stakeholders, this is, Cartman and customers. The decision to retain Cartman would seem biased considering the adverse effects of his actions on customer loyalty and company revenue.
As a result of the present situation and my analysis, I strongly suggest that we retain Eric Cartman. Even though he made the wrong decision during this project, he is a long-serving employee and this was his first mishap. I believe that he was tasked with a risky situation and his actions were misinterpreted as irresponsible and I strongly recommend that we retain this employee. By doing so, we can offer him a second chance and the company will not suffer from additional losses of staff turnover (Pieper, Trevor, Weller, & Duchon, 2017).
By advertising the unfinished perfume and placing in on the market, the company lost the trust and loyalty of our customers. The reputation of the company is dented and there is no room for the same mistake. Although no person was hurt in this dilemma, the customer’s clothes were discolored. This raises the question of what if the next time a product harmed customers. The main parties involved in this decision are our shareholders, our clients, the company, and Cartman. Our shareholders are essential to the success of the company and our accomplishments will be gauged by the stock value (Chedrawi & Osta, 2017). Our clients support our company and we will experience a reduction in revenues as a result of this incident. The company will be negatively impacted by the dismissal of Cartman since it will lose an employee and forfeit the benefit from the potential he has to offer to the company (Hom, Lee, Shaw, & Hausknecht, 2017).
The benefit of firing Cartman in this situation is that he would no longer be in a position to make another error with the company. One downside to this choice is that the company would lose an employee who has been successful in the past. This dilemma has been a source of embarrassment for Cartman and his credibility as a reliable employee has diminished immensely. He would not make it as a good prospective employee to any other company if we relieved him off his duties.
When it comes to rules and regulations, I believe that every person should follow them and there should be no exception. Any deviation from the rules is viewed as the start of disregarding rules, and eventually every person will stop following the rules (Kuroda, 2017). Consequently, all other individuals will think that they have a legit exception to the rule. According to the principles of Waldron (2017) firing Cartman would signal equality and that every individual should be treated the same with no prejudice. The key parties involved in this decision include the stakeholders, Cartman, the company, and the clients. The clients will no longer trust the company’s products because the company sold a product that discolored their clothes. Cartman will have a difficult time searching for another job if the company dismisses him due to his project’s failure and his family will face difficult times. Based on the theory presented by Hom, Lee, Shaw, & Hausknecht (2017), clients will appreciate the firing of Cartman. An advantage of this choice is that there would be equality in the company and every person would be treated the same. Cartman cost the company millions and he faces a punishment for his actions. If another employee repeated this, he would also lose his job. One drawback to this approach would be losing a long-serving employee who had great potential. Our past clients may refrain from purchasing our products to avoid ruining their clothes if Cartman remains in the company.
Placing myself in Cartman’s shoes, I would want to be given another chance if I made the decision to continue marketing the perfume. In my opinion, Cartman was faced with his own ethical dilemma. He had to choose between carrying out more research on the product and knowingly putting the product on the market while it was unfinished. The research team recommended that we wait longer before placing the product on the shelves, whereas the marketing team pressured Cartman to introducing the perfume with disclaimer text. It was not possible to satisfy both sides and unluckily his decision was wrong and resulted to a huge calamity. Eric Cartman was aware of company guidelines but he failed to involve any of his superiors in his decisions related to the project’s progress or discuss his dilemma with them.
If he would have consulted me about it I would discouraged him from placing the product on shelves without sufficient research. This decision would affect two parties i.e., clients and Cartman. The willingness of past clients to try new products would be impaired if they know that Cartman escaped punishment for such a mistake (Stoeckel, 2017). The decision to either dismiss or retain him would have an impact on his career, reputation, and the financial stability of his family. One advantage of retaining Cartman is that he would get a new opportunity to show his worth to the company. On the other hand, this resolution might be unfavorable because in the public eye and customers’ eyes the company would appear to be ignoring its mistakes (Rouquet, Goudarzi, & Henriquez, 2017). In addition, the process of regaining the lost customer loyalty id difficult and it would be a challenge to go move to the previous position.
As the president of the company, I am in favor of the principle because every person deserves a second chance. Eric Cartman has been one of our better employees and he possesses a high potential for succeeding in our company. He made a costly mistake, but we all make mistakes and nobody is flawless. He was under pressure to please both sides which proved impossible as he took the wrong decision. I feel that the best decision for our company because he had evidently learned his lesson from this mishap. Such crucial employees should be worth of a second chance. I believe that all situations can be understood differently and viewing each situation from different perspectives promotes the making of informed decisions.
I would really appreciate it if you connect and share your opinions and input concerning the situation discussed above.
Chedrawi, C., & Osta, S. (2017). CSR in the banking sector: A legitimacy approach to the shareholders’ and stakeholders’ debate. Marketing and Branding Research, 4(3), 280.
Hom, P. W., Lee, T. W., Shaw, J. D., & Hausknecht, J. P. (2017). One hundred years of employee turnover theory and research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 530.
Pieper, J. R., Trevor, C. O., Weller, I., & Duchon, D. (2017). Referral hire presence implications for referrer turnover and job performance. Journal of Management, 0149206317739959.
Kuroda, S. (2017). 18 The Evolutionary Foundations of Institutions: Rule, Deviation, Identity. Institutions: The Evolution of Human Sociality, 393.
Stoeckel, P. R. (2017). Client education theory and practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Waldron, J. (2017). One another’s equals: The basis of human equality. Harvard University Press.