The product effect information given by Doug will be helpful in crafting manuals for using the bike. I would instruct that manuals and safety guide be printed to accompany the product when it is being sold in the market. Customer would be warned against exposing the bike to more than four hours consecutively to temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The relevant pressures include meeting the target set for me in expanding the market share in the southwestern region of United State; consideration on whether the defect actually affects the usefulness of the product; and whether it is necessary to bring such issues to the owners of the company. In determining the right cause of action, I would use COBE problem-solving model (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman). This model will allow me to identify the need for problem solving, and how it affects the company. Further it will allow me to evaluate the problem and the opportunity presented defect. This model will guide in generating solutions, making decision, implementation, and evaluating the efforts established to solve the problem (Hicks, 55; Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman)
I would recommend that the company pays the $5,000 fee to have the Zero Pedal placed on the shelves of the sporting goods store. This would be after establishing that it is the appropriate move for the company. In making this decision, I would be forced to consider the cost of paying the annual fee for the company and myself. Further, I would consider whether it increases the chances of the product getting a considerable market share in the region (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman). I would also consider whether this is a normal thing that happens in the store and if it is not, I would consider reporter the buyer to the management of the store. The sporting goods store would not allow its staff to charge personal fee to place products on the shelves. Therefore, this would be against the company policy, but I would be very careful when dealing with such a situation since the company may be relaxed in enforcing such rules. Therefore, the decision to pay would be illegal and unethical (Hicks, 59).
Yes, Green Move should apply the cost/benefit analysis in analyzing safety concerns about the product. This will allow the company to know which steps to take in alleviating the impact of the defect on the target market. There are several risks involved in advancing the product in the new market (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman). Some of these risks include the lack of regulations in relation to the Zero Pedal product, the risks of over-speeding to the riders, pedestrians, and other road users. In addition, there are also the moral questions on whether the company is justified in launching a product that is potentially risky for the users. These issues can be dealt with if a cost/benefit analysis is done on the product (Hicks, 76).
Robert can call Solar Group and let them know about the complaint. Since working conditions in Bangladesh are not the same as those in the US, Green Move should act quickly to ensure that terms of its agreement are not breached. This will ensure that children are not employed in the country, and employees are paid a reasonable wage/salary for their work. Therefore, it is not necessary for Green Move to terminate the agreement with Solar Group. According to the blogger, the conditions in the Solar Group industry are bad compared to the US working conditions. However, it is important to note that conditions at Solar Group are acceptable in Bangladesh (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman). It would, therefore, be prudent for Green Move to keep the agreement. In making the decision about the issue, Green Move would be forced to consider its interests in the agreement and how it would affect the company if it were to terminate the contract. Since Green Move’s interests are at stake, the company would approach this issue carefully and seek to solve it without the footage leaking to the public (Hicks, 85).
In establishing whether working conditions at Solar Group in Bangladesh are appropriate, Green Move should consider the acceptable working conditions in the Country (Bangladesh). It would be unfair if the company was to measure Solar Groups working standards with the working standards in the US. Further, Robert should consider the fact that Solar Group is able to provide high quality products at low price because it is able to outsource in Bangladesh, where labor is cheaper. In making the decision regarding the working conditions at Solar Group, Robert can institute a focus group that will look into the functioning of the Solar Group. This group would be tasked with the responsibility of looking into the standards established by the government of Bangladesh (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman). It is also important for Robert to exercise restraint in acting given the information by the blogger may not be correct.
It is important to establish how the blog will affect the company. To establish the effect of the blog on the company, Robert would have to investigate the viewership of the blog on the internet. Further, it is also critical to establish the credibility of the blog in order to develop a line of action that will mitigate the negative effects that may be raised by the article. Depending on the influence and viewership of the blog, the impact of Green Move can be mild or severe. The blog will instigate conversations on the internet that will not be in favor of the Green Move brand. These conversations can be destructive to the brand if the viewership is huge on the internet. Green Move can mitigate these effects by providing stories of the employees in the Solar Group Company such as Akasha, and air it on national television or on a blog with a huge viewership and influence.
For Viktor to make the decision on whether to lease the property or not, he should first identify alternatives to that property. By comparing the conditions of all properties under lease, then he should make the decision to lease the property. If he finds that leasing the property is the most viable option for the company to expand internationally, then he should include both envelopes. This is because the property manager would get the facilitation fee from another bidder and Green Move would loose on the property. In making the decision to lease the property, Viktor should consider whether giving facilitation fee is a common feature in government tendering. This will allow him to make an informed decision on how to penetrate the Russian market. While this might be an illegal action, it is a necessary action that is practiced in the country hence the need to offer the facilitation fee. The company will also have ethical issues to deal with as it seeks to be a competitive company with a conscious (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman).
Considering the cheap labor in Russia and the impact the company would have in terms of employment in the country, it is a prudent move to expand its operations in Russia. However, in doing so, the company should ensure that it keeps its values and offers high quality products, better wages for employees, and better working conditions. The ethical and legal issues concerning the acquisition of the property should not deter the company from venturing into an otherwise viable production unit. Russia is also an easier country to venture into since one of the owners is a Russian hence he could be left to manage that unit, reducing potential difficulties in communication and cultural barriers (Hicks, 98).
The first organizational issue that may have led the company to breach ethical and legal standards is the need to expand to new market. The company was determined to expand the Zero Pedal market in the southwestern region of the US hence overlooking the product defect and paid the special $5,000 fee. The second issue is the company’s overreliance on the Solar Group. The company relied heavily on the product from Solar Group, which were critical to the production of the Zero Pedal product hence they could not risk terminating the agreement despite the working conditions at Solar Group in Bangladesh. The third issue is the need for the company to have a foreign technological unit. Since labor in the United States is very costly, Green Move needed to establish a technological unit abroad where it could get it at a cheaply. This led the company to comprise on its ethical and legal standards to acquire property in Russia. Further, the company needed to remain profitable for its shareholders, which would be influential during the initial public offering (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman).
There are several residual risks involved with the decision of the Green move to breach legal and ethical issues. In the first case, the company can be sued for knowingly offering a defective product to the market. The company went against the advice of its lead product developer and produced a product that posed a potential risk to the public without warning of the risks involved in exposing the Zero Pedal to long periods of high temperature. The company was also willing to pay a special fee to have its products placed on sporting goods store. On the second case, the company chose to keep Solar Group as its partner in providing critical products despite evidence that Solar Group’s working conditions were below the US standards. The third case also provides instances of ethical and legal breaches. The company overlooked the accepted procedure in tendering and gave a “facilitation” fee in order to get a government property for its operations in Russia. This can lead to lawsuits that can harm the company’s profits as well as its brand.
With the company facing so many risks from several fronts, it is prudent for the Green Move Company to device short and long term steps to fix the problems and diffuse the risks. Green Move can establish working standards for the stores that will be placing its products on the shelves. With agreements between the company and stores, it will be difficult for any staff to ask for a special fee. The long term solution would be for the company to look into establishing its own stores around the country. To deal with the problem with the Solar Group, the company can move to change the conditions at Solar Group by offering stringent measures for defaulting. However, due to its reliance on products from Solar Group it would be difficult to end the agreement. The long term measures to curb this problem would be to establish its own technological plants abroad where it can produce the required material for the production of the Zero Pedal product. It will also be able to control the employment and the working conditions in the plant. The problems in Russia are hard to fix since they are related to corruption within a government institution. However, the company can assess the cost of doing business in the country and choose another country if the cost does not merit establishing a unit in the country.
The government has a big role to play in solving some of the problems facing Green Move. At first, the government can develop policies and laws that will govern the production and use of the Zero Pedal bike. This would help to set acceptable standards for the product. The government of Bangladesh can also raise the standards of working conditions in the country. This would help improve the conditions at Solar Group making them acceptable by the Green Move company. Further, the government can enforce rules against child labor making it hard for companies to employ children. In Russia, the government can enforce laws against corruption making it difficult for government employees to ask for “facilitation” fee (Villachica, Huglin, and Goodman).
Hicks, Michael J. Problem Solving and Decision Making: Hard, Soft and Creative Approaches. 2nd ed. North Yorkshire UK: Thomson Learning, 2004. Print.
Villachica, Steve, Linda Huglin, and James Goodman. COBE Problem-Solving Model. 2010. Web.