Explore BrainMass

Ethics case: Made in the U.S.A., Dumped in Brazil, Africa


1.) Was the dumping in this case ethical? Those involved in the dumping might have argued that the people receiving the pajamas would not have otherwise had access to such clothing and were notified of the health and safety hazards. Does this affect your feelings about the case? What do
you think about the exportation of the Dalkon Shield? Can it be justified the rate of dying during childbirth in Third World countries is extremely high, and, as such, any effective birth control device is better than none?

2.) What obligations did the financial managers have to their shareholders to do whatever is possible to avoid major financial losses associated with
these products?

3.) Is it still immoral or unethical to dump goods when doing so does not violate any U.S. laws? How about when those receiving the goods know the dangers? Why do you think dumpers dump? Do you think they believe what they are doing is ethically acceptable?

Please see attached case study.


Solution Preview

Solution to Question One:
1. To answer this question, you start by defining the term Business Ethics. Then emphasize why businesses should follow ethical conduct.

2. Discuss how businesses should react in situations of potential business failure. The following is an example of an approach that the solution may take. I am contrasting Albert Carr's feelings on business ethics with current opinions:

When faced with the likelihood of business failure as in the case of the pajama producers, how does a business react ethically? Is ethics even one of the major factors on the minds of business owners and managers in times like these? Should ethics even be considered in these situations? The 20th century thinker Albert Carr believes that ethics do not necessarily belong in business; they are, in his opinion, a personal matter. Business, Carr asserts, is really more like a poker game, the purpose of which is to win within the context of the rules. Cunning, deception, distrust, concealment of strengths and strategiesâ?"these are all parts of the game. Businesspeople cease to be citizens when they are at work. Furthermore, no one should criticize the rules of the game simply because they differ from societal morals (Goree, 2011).

One can argue that if Carr's opinion is correct, then it is not unethical to save a US company by dumping its, now unwanted product, on the rest of the world. One must consider the number of US jobs that would be saved by so doing and the number of investors whose livelihoods depend on the success of the domestic business. Furthermore, the product is not quietly dumped on an unsuspecting nation. The third world countries are informed of the danger of the products. If they still choose to purchase the product then why should the domestic producer miss out on the opportunity to sell?

You might contrast Carr's beliefs with those of say, Kant, as I touched on below:

Opponents of Carr's beliefs, however, might argue that any form of dumping is illegal. After all, it cannot be ethical to endanger another person's life in order to make a profit. When dangerous products, such as pajamas known to cause kidney cancer, are dumped on the third world, people's lives are endangered; families and communities are negatively affected. German philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that morality in all spheres of human life should be grounded in reason. His renowned "categorical imperative" held that: (1) people should act only according to maxims that they would be ...

Solution Summary

Ethics case: Made in the U.S.A., Dumped in Brazil, Africa