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Corporate Social Responsibility in Business Ethics

                    Gary T. Schwartz, “The Myth of The Ford Pinto Case,” 43 Rutgers L. Rev. 1013 (1991), https://www.pointoflaw.com/articles/The_Myth_of_the_Ford_Pinto_Case.pdf

The case of Ford Pinto takes us back to the sixties—a time when there were many changes in the automotive industry. There was a lot of competition. It all started when Ford felt intimidated by Volkswagen and Honda. The two companies were doing better at the time. So, as a natural reaction, Ford would do anything to make sure its place in the market is not in danger. The biggest issue is Ford did not have enough time to secure its place in the industry. Ford wanted to produce something different as a design to compete with both Volkswagen and Honda. Ford had no idea its plan would go another way. Instead of being placed in the rear differential, the gas tank was directly above it. This modification of the design has passed over fifty tests. This is not the issue; the issue came straight from the Ford management who did not want to assume the risks of the tank storage. This did not only tarnish the image of Ford as a leading company of cars, but Ford also lost a lot of money and was sued. The case calls on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility as discussed earlier in the proposal. Ford was one of those companies whose main purpose was money and only money. These companies tend to follow Freidman’s doctrine. The case again reminds us how insecurity can blind a company’s judgment among its competitors. Companies make mistakes, but the biggest problem is that Ford knew that the tank defect could be fixed with no more than $11 but still did not act upon it. This case, among others, is a wake-up call for other corporations to focus on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and learn from their mistakes.

                    Case study: Frost, S., & Burnett, M. (2007). Case study: the Apple iPod in China.
 csr.146 (1).pdf

This second case revolves around many business issues and concepts that were discussed lately during Business Ethics classes and lectures. The two first concepts are capitalism and globalization. Capitalism first originated in Europe and is an economic system that is historically specific. However, it changes from one place to another. Globalization, on the other hand, is difficult to define at times. It characterizes the increasing interconnection of the world’s cultures, communities, and economies. The two concepts gave birth to the case at hand. Apple as a leading company in the technology industry wanted to go international. However, it has not changed anything since it switched gears to a new culture and economy like that of China. It was accused of being socially irresponsible. The work conditions that Chinese people were facing traveled to the public after one article from Mail on Sunday was published. Apple denied it and said that it is a company that follows social responsibility. It also said that the working conditions around the world are safe. Apple management said that they respect all the employees’ dignity, and they treat them on equal footing. But it is not the case. Chinese NGO said they alerted Apple about potentially hazardous conditions in the Chengdu factory. But still, Apple has not done anything to prevent what happened next. Four people were killed, and seventy-seven were injured. With these cases happening, Corporate Social Responsibility should be mandated to some extent especially when people’s lives are in danger. This case is another example for corporations to learn in case they want to go international.

                      Gates, G., J. Ewing, K. Russell & D. Watkins (2016, September 12). Explaining Volkswagen’s Emissions Scandal. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from  How Volkswagen’s ‘Defeat Devices’ Worked – The New York Times (1).pdf

Raising awareness of how important Corporate Social Responsibility is, the Volkswagen scandal is another case that came to teach all of us lessons in business ethics. It teaches us how a company’s reputation is more important for the long term than making money in the short term. This happened in 2015 when Volkswagen put software in millions of diesel vehicles that caused them to appear clean during the emission tests. As a result, there were some health hazards. Asthma, cancer, and heart disease are examples to name a few. It is an understatement to say that Volkswagen has lost its reputation as a leader in the automotive industry. Because of that error, its brand image was harmed. People saw this as reckless behavior especially when the company was aware of the problems with their diesel cars. To rescue what they could, Volkswagen attempted to offer paybacks along with compensation for 2.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi TDI vehicles. Despite doing that along with arresting over six Volkswagen executives because they were associated with the case, people still blamed them saying it was nothing compared to the damage made. This case relates to the other aforementioned ones. The only difference is that in this one the government showed us that it could make those socially irresponsible corporations pay for their recklessness. I still do believe that CSR should be to some extent mandated and regulated by the government. Again, these acts affect people’s health. This case teaches us that for a company to stay away from scandals and eventually maintain its brand reputation it is always good to be honest and transparent. Because the fact of being honest and transparent is an act of social responsibility.

Ayoub Kadi

is a teacher of English and a senior sales consultant. He got his diploma in international commerce and a B.A in English linguistics from Ibn Zohr University, Agadir. His writings take the form of articles, poems, and memoirs. He is the president and founder of Morocco Pens.
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