The given case study reflects a perfect scenario of current society; on one hand it reflects how company management adopts dominating behavior over the employees and on the other hand shows the power of employees by taking the matter to print and electronic media and other organizations, working and concerned for the welfare of people.
(1) The case is about Wolverton Mountain Company which is mainly into managing and operating retail malls in the country and about an employee of the company, named Fife who is posted in the company as security guard. Everything was running normal until company introduced a new policy to escort drunken people to their vehicles and to public transport. Fife did not like this new policy as a drunken person may take life of an innocent person as well as being against the government policies, it could be a cause for losing his license. Fife did not find policy ethically and morally correct. He raised his voice against the policy within the company to various senior officials but no one paid any attention to his concerns. After making all his efforts and getting nothing he decided to take some major steps because he was quite unhappy and not wanted to take such unethical policy any more. Fife went to the organization working for drunk drivers, further contacted television news channel and newspaper. Fife has provided all the supporting data and facts to the media. Company when realize that their policy went into news paper, they called Fife and asked him to sign the document mentioning that he has violated the policy of non-disclosure of companies information. Fife refuse to sign the document and said that he has not done anything during working hours so it will not be applicable on him. After discussing the matter with company council, manager in-charge said that Fife is a complainant and do not even clearly understand the companies polices. After watching news on the television, they decided to fire Fife because he violated the rules of the company policy. This whole episode tarnished company image and people even said that they will not visit that mall in future.
(2) Ethical issues presented in the case: the case is reflecting more than one ethical issue here. The ethical issues given in the case are;
a. Corporate social responsibility – in current scenario when companies are spending huge amount on corporate social responsibility activities. These types of activities not only improve brand image of the company but also indirectly increase their sales. In the case Wolverton Mountain has shown a very unethical behavior towards the society that he is operating. Company has implemented one policy to escort people who are drunk to their cars and public places. Without giving even a thought that these drunken people may create some problem. Company did not think about the people who are giving profit to the company. So the first issue is negligence towards the employees and society in which company is operating and making money.
b. In each and every year government spend lot of money in advertising to discourage people for not to use tobacco and alcoholic beverages and also not to drive when you are drunk. Government has set certain fine in terms of cash or jail for the people who are found driving while they are drunk. Company went against the rules and norms set by government by encouraging people to drink and drive.
c. Company has shown an immoral behavior towards his employee. Firstly company launched such policy to escort drunken people to their vehicles which could have jeopardized their license. As mentioned in the case Fife went to various officers with his grievances against the policy but body bothered about his complaints.
Following ethical philosophies have been presented in the case:
a. Categorical Imperative – in the case without thinking about the consequences, Fife fought for the right thing. As per rules and regulations set by government company policy was wrong. Fife took all the challenges even lost his job but he stood against the unethical policy of company and fulfilled his responsibility towards the society.
b. Utilitarianism – Fife has reflected utilitarianism philosophy in his behavior. He thought about not only himself but also about a larger interest of society. The step taken by Fife will provide benefits to all employees of the organization as company will not try to implement such unethical policies in future to protect its image. The step will benefit all the security guard of the company as existing policy was a threat to their license and will benefit whole society.
(3) Recommendations for Company:
In the given case company did not ponder about any of the above mentioned points. They neither considered employees nor the society members who were providing business to the company. Before implementing any policy a deep understanding and agreement of all stakeholders is required.
Alternative Solutions – the alternatives company could have adopted are;
1. Company should not have implemented this policy to escort drunken people to their vehicles or to public transport because neither it is bringing any business to the company nor it is improving services quality rating of malls drastically. Even the people who heard about this policy only criticized the policy. Company has formed a policy which was against rules and regulations as set by government of the country.
2. Even if company wanted to implement this policy, it could have done in a better way by making some alteration in the policy. Instead of taking people to their vehicles and let them drive, company could have arranged a call to any of their family member and ask them to come and take the drunk person along with them.
3. Another way could be by arranging a chauffeur driven paid car for the drunken person. The person will reach home safely without violating any rule.
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