Ethical Decision Model in H.B Fuller Company – Case Study Example

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The paper "Ethical Decision Model in H.B Fuller Company" is a worthy example of a case study on business. According to Thomas and Al (1993), H.B Fuller is a company that specializes in the manufacture of glue and particularly toluene-based glues found it in problems when its products were linked to the social problems affecting street children in Honduras. Initially, the company denied liability for the social misgivings affecting the street children because of sniffing the toluene based glue manufactured by the company. Consequently, through the activities of the media and more so naming the street children “Resistoleros” which was the product name of the companies glue led the company to soften their stand on the issue. There was also pressure from multiple individuals such as child advocates and the government for the company to address the issue of street children sniffing the glue. The development of an alternative way of addressing the issue by the company’s competitor increased pressure to adopt measures aimed at addressing the issue. The competitor’s idea was to add additives to the glue in order to make it less desirable. H.B Fuller faulted the idea, which put the company in an opposing position to the interests of the public. 

The people/the organizations and their interests
A number of individuals and groups had an interest in the issuer and these included H.B Fuller, child advocacy groups, the government, the street children and the public at large. The company considered the region a chief contributor to its revenue and changes to its products would affect the revenue. On the other hand, the interests of the society as presented by the child advocacy groups and the government aim at the best inters of the children involved in sniffing the toluene-based glues in respect to the side effects of its use.

The dilemma
Although the problem involving the use of the company’s glue by the street children did not have a direct link to the company in that the objective of the company in the manufacture of the glue did not involve sniffing, the company was responsible for the misuse of its products. The moral obligations of the company included ensuring its products are not misused in such circumstances and; therefore, the company is tasked with addressing the problem. On the other hand, the company wanted to ensure that the policies aimed at addressing the issue or the issue itself does not affect revenue from the region (Thomas & Al 1993).

The options and their consequences
The options available to a CEO in such a circumstance include adding additives to the glue to make it undesirable for sniffing by the street children. Alternatively, the toluene in the glue can be replaced by another substance with functional qualities similar to toluene but without the effect of toluene when sniffed such as cyclohexane.

H.B Fuller has the largest market share of the products in the region and generates a substantial amount of its revenue from the region. In consideration of this factor, it is imperative to note that the employment of an effective strategy by the company translates to a more effective outcome. This, therefore, means that it is upon the company to adopt measures aimed at reducing this problem. Furthermore, it is apparent that it is mainly the company’s glue that is being sniffed by the children not only because of its market share but also because its competitors have adopted methods aimed at solving the problem.

The preposition on the best approach to tackle the issue takes two perspectives, and it involves providing education to consumers on the effects of misuse of the glue and finding an alternative for toluene in the glue. Providing education ensures that society is aware of the adverse effects of sniffing glue. Additionally substituting toluene eliminates the effect from sniffing glue and alternatively renders the glue undesirable for sniffing.

Rationale for the decision
The decision is based on the corporate responsibility of the company towards the society. This responsibility means ensuring the products of the company do not generate revenue at the expense of society and specifically that of the health of the street children. The decision, therefore, puts into context these interests of the society but also strives to maintain the expectations of the company in terms of revenue. The revenue from the region also contributes substantially to the total revenue of the company; therefore, it is reasonable to retain the market but contributes positively to society.

Ethical decision measures
Because it is preferable for the company to maintain its presence in the region, it becomes prudent to put into consideration the views of the society in the operations of its business. In order to achieve its goals, the image of the company must be appealing and; therefore, it is essential to maintain the required standard of care in operations. Moreover, a gesture to put in mind the welfare of the street children builds on the image of the company and helps improve its sales.

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