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Business Ethics - Mattel and Home Depot

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Case Study 6 - Mattel

1. Do manufacturers of products for children have special obligations to consumers and society? If so, what are these responsibilities?
2. How effective has Mattel been at encouraging ethical and legal conduct by its manufacturers? What changes and additions would you make to the company's Global Manufacturing Principles?
3. To what extent is Mattel responsible for issues related to its production of toys in China? How might Mattel have avoided these issues?
4. Do you feel that Mattel should receive control of MGA's Bratz dolls? If so, what actions should Mattel take regarding Bratz?

Case Study 17 - Home Depot

1. Rank the relative power of Home Depot's various stakeholders. Defend why you have ranked the first three as most important?
2. Evaluate Home Depot's philanthropic activities as a link to its overall corporate strategy.
3. How do you think Home Depot has handled ethical issues such as gender discrimination and other human resource issues over the last ten years?

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Case Study 6: Mattel

Answer 1
Yes, manufacturers of products for children have special obligations to consumer and society. In the highly competitive business, corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a significant role in building a broad customer base (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2005). CSR focuses on making the companies responsible for their activities on shareholders, suppliers, customers, employees, communities and environment as a whole. The responsibility statement of Mattel pays special attention on the quality and safety of the toys (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2005). Some of these responsibilities of the manufacturers towards children are as follow:
 The manufacturers should meet the global legal standards for safety during the manufacturing and designing the toys and have framed flexible safety policies to meet some unexpected hazards (Product Safety (2008).
 The manufacturers should not use dangerous apparatus in the toys, mainly manufactured for the children, so that the children would not harmed by these dangerous tools and equipments of toys (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2005).
 Children are not quite understandable about the manufacturing of toys. At the time of playing with the toys, they also lick the toys, throw the toys, open their parts, etc. so, this is the responsibilities of the manufactures to do not use the harmful chemicals, electronic wires, at the time of manufacturing the toys for kids (Product Safety (2008).
Thus, the manufacturers of toys like Mattel and other companies should follow the ethical obligations towards children as well as society.

Answer 2
Mattel has to develop the ethical business practices in all over the world. These ethical practices do not includes only ethical practices towards children but also includes various practices such as forces labor, working hours and wages, non-discrimination policies, etc. (Global Manufacturing Principles of Mattel Inc., 2009). All the business partners of Mattel are obligated to matched the 'Global Manufacturing Principles' of the company, otherwise the company can terminated all the deals with their partners (Global Manufacturing Principles of Mattel Inc., 2009). This is the biggest issue for the firm's future success. Almost all the partners follow the manufacturing principles of Mattel, but some guidelines of Mattel do not match with the principles of its business partners (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2005).

Mattel should follow some recommendations, so that the business partners can match the ethical standard of the company also and they can run their business deals in an effective manner (Global Manufacturing Principles of Mattel Inc., 2009). These recommendations are: the Mattel and business partners should make a parameter to pay the sufficient wages to the labor, which matches the standard of fair labor within the industry. A part from this the Mattel should make sure that the partners would not involve any child under the age of 16 years and force labor to complete the order to the company (Ferrell ...

Solution Summary

Mattel and Home Depot in business ethics is examined.