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When an organization's social performance does not match its financial performance, there is a moral problem. To gauge the financial health of the company, the accumulated revenues, profit margins, and incurred expenses are taken into account. Additionally, the social performance of the firm is determined by the satisfaction and well-being of its stakeholders (Jackson, Wood, & Zboka, 2013). Customers, suppliers, employees, members of the general public, and creditors all constitute shareholders in a business.
When it was discovered that unopened cans of Tylenol included tablets containing the extremely dangerous arsenic chemical, the Johnson & Johnson Company was put in danger. It was difficult to determine who would be affected by taking the toxic pills when taken as medication. Many of the tablets had already been distributed to other locations, where it is believed they were sold. Therefore, tracking the tablets from the distributors/customers and then collecting them back for destruction seemed impossible. Making an announcement, the Company had manufactured poisonous tablets and sold them would evoke adverse reactions. The disturbing issue would taint the company's public image. As a result of consuming poisonous tablets, six people were reported dead, and the Company was responsible for their incidence.
Moral Standard of Behavior
The Johnson & Johnson Company management decided to pull the product from the shelves entirely and halt its sale with immediate effect. The decision was taken despite the fact that the company had used many resources in producing the tablets. The management was faced with a moral challenge, and it had to make a decision that was right and fair to take.
Justification of the Decision
The decision taken by the management was aimed at protecting the customers and avoiding bad public image for the Company (Kaptein, 2017). It was decided that new drugs were supposed to be placed in "Tamper proof containers" to avoid a similar problem. All senior executives were required to act promptly and respond accordingly to assist in containing the situation. Also, the management aimed at a decision that helped in attaining the mission of the firm regardless of the moral problem the Company faced.
Jackson, R. W., Wood, C. M., & Zboja, J. J. (2013). The dissolution of ethical decision-making in organizations: A comprehensive review and model. Journal of Business Ethics, 116(2), 233-250.
Kaptein, M. (2017). The Moral Entrepreneur: A New Component of Ethical Leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-16.
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