In order to address the issue of defective products to the CEO, directors and managers, I should ensure I have all of the facts to describe the issues. Addressing the issue of the defective product, it would be in the best importance for the company to find the ways of resolving the issue first instead of our consumers. Therefore, this meeting is a great opportunity for to share my knowledge of the defective products being sold to consumers. Even if am not sure whether CEO, other executives and managers are informed about this issue that could probably cause a serious issue, I will try to present the issue of potential defective products to them effectively. I will explain how I would exclusively inform consumers of the incident and the type of internal actions I would employ to prevent such issue in the future. I will ensure that a powerful sense of business ethics permeates the company. My main objective is to discuss the internal actions to be used to prevent the issue and notify the customer of defective products, which are being sold in the market. Therefore, the paper will provide insight into what I think will be ethical from a business perspective on dealing with such issues.
At the meeting, although am not informed about how ethical the new company is, I would have to be honest and let all parties involved aware that the product is potentially insecure and could lead to severe injuries. It is my responsibility to inform them of the issue otherwise I will be acting in an unethical manner. In case the executives fail to take action on the defective product issue, they would not be in a position to say they were not informed of the defect. I would be confident presenting this knowledge to the executive because I am aware of the whistleblower provision of a consumer product safety act that aim at protecting consumers from retaliation from employers when reporting hazardous or defective products. Therefore, in case the company proves to be unethical, I could still behave within my rights to recommend the company to employ the right decision without fear of losing my job. I would inform executives that failing to disclose information can lead to million dollar lawsuits, affect company reputation and decline customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, acting unethically can eventually put the company out of the business, which will affect their gains.
Presenting the issue of the potentially defective sold to consumers, must come from an individual with ethical values and beliefs (Ethics Resource Center, 2009). As an employee, I have values and standards that I must comply with internally. Thus, we have a liability for the safety of our consumers and ensuring that maximum satisfaction is achieved. Given the several media outlets and accessibility of information for the public currently, people are becoming more prongs to hold the company reliable for what products they produce in the market, which are defective. Social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter can enable citizens to post surveys and polls about the company and its product based on the information from the media. Online search engines will also provide any information in regards to the potential defective products and any business bureau reports.
Therefore, as a company, we must inform the public about the issue, state an apology and steps to be undertaken to correct the issue. The company is supposed to notify the CPSC immediately about the defective product that creates a substantial risk to the public (FDA, 2011). The company can notify consumers using media, social media and websites about the product. The company should notify consumers about the recall of the defective products for distribution and consumer use of such product. The company is supposed to inform the consumer of the unacceptable risk to the health and safety of consumers. The company should advise consumers of the product risk and the action they should take to reduce the risk of injury. To warn consumers, the company will be expected to produce and distribute a media release, newspaper advertisement, display signs to show retail outlets where the recalled products are sold.
Post the recall on the company’s website and other modes of communication. Therefore, when recalling the product from the consumer the company is supposed to select a qualified person with adequate authority to coordinate the recall. The company should immediately identify the potential products that are supposed to be recalled. The company should isolate the stock of recalled products located in storage facilities (FDA, 2011). The company is expected to track the products that have been distributed to ensure the defective product is effectively recalled.
In order to avoid such defective issue in the future, the company is supposed to set safety standards for consumer products, which will prevent risks, associated with such products. The company should have a risk analysis and significant control point plan that highlights risks most likely to happen. It will also provide in-plant corrections in case of failure at a critical control point. The company should comply with FDA practices and regulations to avoid such problems in the future. The company should develop and maintain quality management systems that ensure quality and prevent substandard quality to ensure constant safety. The company should develop procedures for evaluating and maintaining production process.
In order to ensure that a powerful sense of business ethics permeates the company, we should create, evaluate the ethical climate and put safeguards measures in place (Jeloschek, 2004). To achieve this, we should evaluate the company’s culture, norms of behavior and values. We should conduct a formal assessment of company culture based on attitudes, values, and perceptions, standards of conduct and risks and vulnerabilities. We should ensure codes of conduct are actual living documents, which are encouraged and valued at the highest levels. CEO, other executives and managers should set a good example for the kind of conduct they expect from others. The company should establish a powerful ethics infrastructure that is self-sustaining. This will ensure systems are in a place to assure employee compliance with the code of ethics. The company should publicly commit to becoming an ethical organization. This is vital because companies that are open about their ethical behavior and standards seem to be more responsible than those who stay quiet (Willmott, 2010).
In a recap, potential product defect always happens, but how the company deals with such issue is what determines the ethics of the company. Employing the right strategy upon discovery can cost much less than ignoring the entire issue. This can also affect the reputation of the company, consumer behavior and the profitability of the company. Therefore, it is vital to do what is ethically right to avoid such consequences.
Ethics Resource Center (2009, May 29). Ten Things You Can Do to Avoid Being the Next Enron | Ethics Resource Center. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.ethics.org/resource/ten-things-you-can-do-avoid-being-next-enron
FDA, (2011). Guidance for Industry: Product Recalls, Including Removals and Corrections. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/industryguidance/ucm129259.htm
Jeloschek, C. (2004). Examination and notification duties in consumer sales law: How far should we go in protecting the consumer?. München: Sellier, Europ. Law Publ.
Willmott, H. (2010). Organization theory and design. Andover: South-Western Cengage Learning.