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Bsad 460 - a Philosophical Approach

Autor:   •  July 15, 2017  •  Essay  •  1,040 Words (5 Pages)  •  18 Views

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A Philosophical Approach

Jestine Davis

Franklin University

BSAD 460

Introduction

Individuals in decision-making positions within a company, are forced to make a wide range of decisions. Some of these decisions are minor while others can have irreversible effects for all parties involved. For example, the executives working in the Ford Motor Company during the Pinto Fire Crisis, really dropped the ball concerning safety standards. At first glance, one would believe that it was a case of simple negligence and greed that caused them to overlook this issue regarding the Pinto’s gas tank. However, when this case is examined from an ethical and moral standpoint, there is actual evidence that supports their reasoning.

The Philosophical Approach

        The Recall Coordinator at Ford had a background in Social Activism, so he was accustomed to making decisions that were morally sound. However, when he started moving up the promotional ladder, that is when his standards shifted to a more “Company Orientated” Approach. The approach that aligned with the Company’s direction at the time was the Consequentialist Approach. Ford was only interested in maximizing profits and competition with Overseas Auto Makers. Automobile safety was not an issue during the 1960s and 70s when the Pinto was introduced and the few cars that had safety features were not very popular.

Ford’s President Lee Iacocca, had a strategy in place when he invented plans for the Pinto, that was to produce a vehicle that did not “weigh more than 2,000 pounds and did not cost more than $2,000” (Trevino, 2014). Small and convenient was the standard for this automobile and not safety. Another major change that Iacocca made was “the cutting the ‘Drafting-to-Showroom’ schedule from Three and a half to Two years.” (Trevino) This cut down greatly impacted the amount of changes they could make to the vehicle. When the Pinto Prototypes failed the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration’s Rear Collision’s safety tests, it was determined that it would be too costly to do the required upgrades. As the Pinto rolled out and these deadly crashes started to occur, Ford monitored the situation but stuck to the script as oppose to correcting the problem. The NHTSA had very lacks standards during the time of the Pinto’s unveiling (with stricter guidelines to come later) so Ford was confident that the car would fare well and generate mass profits despite safety concerns. Doing anything to make changes to the plan would have dire consequences for the profit margin, and the Executives at Ford did not want to do that at the time.

Moral Awareness

        To have Moral Awareness, one must be able “to appreciate the ethical aspects of the decision that one must make” (ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu). Ford’s Recall Coordinator and others in major decision making capacity lacked tremendously in this area. They simply place themselves in Script Mode’ and stuck to protocol. Instead of considering the increasing number of fatal fire accidents as the foundation of a potential problem, they chose to sit back and do nothing. They compared the current accidents to older, inaccurate research that was gathered years prior, which brought them to a conclusion that the Pinto’s Gas tank issue was not a problem and no action needed to be taken. That is, until more wrongful death lawsuits started to come in and the company had to reevaluate the safety structure of their automobiles.  The company failed to consider how these accidents would impact their customers and their loved ones that would ultimately pay the cost.

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