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The Case of Mattel: Virtue Ethics Review

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Find and read the following journal article to help you form a solution:
Sethi, S., Veral, E., Shapiro, H., & Emelianova, O.. (2011). Mattel, Inc.: Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) - A Life-Cycle Analysis of a Company-Based Code of Conduct in the Toy Industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 99(4), 483-517.

While the Sethi et al. article is certainly a quite interesting case study, it is a very lengthy and fairly complex one as well. To this extent, I don't want you to simply recount the storyline of the article in your response to the requirements. Rather, I want you to locate and evaluate the most salient business ethics issue, critically analyzing them within the context of virtue ethics - and the questions that I have posed for you below.

Hartman, E.. (2008). Socratic Questions and Aristotelian Answers: A Virtue-Based Approach to Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(3), 313-328.

The following link may be helpful to you in your evaluation of this Case: http://ethicsops.com/CharacterVirtue.aspx
The following is the Problem to be solved:

Choose three virtues, and then discuss how the virtues you have selected may have more appropriately guided the actions and behaviors of the organization at issue. Finally, you will discuss which of the normative ethics we have studied in Modules 1, 2, and 3 (deontological, utilitarian, or virtue ethics) best inform the Case.

Please solve the following:

1) What I would like for you to do is to choose three (3) "virtues" and then provide a clear definition of each. For example, you might choose such virtues as temperance, justice, honesty, fairness, generosity, or kindness. Be sure that you define each virtue using a quality and objective secondary source.

2) Next, apply each of the three virtues you have chosen to the case. Tell me how each of the virtues you've chosen might have been used to appropriately guide the actions and policies of the company. You may discuss how each relates to such matters as the company's working conditions, worker safety, fairness, organizational attitudes towards the environment, etc.

3) Which of the three normative ethics we've studied - i.e., deontological, utilitarian, or virtue - do you believe is most useful in evaluating the Mattel case? Why?

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Solution Preview

See the attached file.

In this particular task, you are being asked to provide a review of the case of Mattel. While there are a lot of sources that have been indicated, I have put together some materials that allow for a better review and insight on Mattel's part. I suggest making your study simple. This outline should do:

1. Virtue Ethics & 3 chosen virtues - 200 words, here provide clear definitions
2. Application of Virtues (600 words)
3. Choice of ethics (discuss each and explain your choice) - 200 words

The Case of Mattel: Virtue Ethics Review

Article Particulars -

Sethis, P., Veral, E., Shapiro, J. & Emelianova, O. (2011). "Mattel, Inc.: Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) - A Life-Cycle Analysis of a Company-Based Code of Conduct in the Toy Industry," in Journal of Business Ethics 99:483-517. Springer. URL: http://rd.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10551-010-0673-0

This particular discussion looks into the virtue ethics espoused in the case of Mattel, Inc., one of the world's leading toymakers (among whose many creations include the Barbie and Ken dolls). Sethi, Veral, Shapiro & Emelianova (2011) studied the life cycle of Mattel's company-based code of conduct as a specific example of business ethics in the toy industry. In the late 1990's, the cry out for ethical conduct and corporate responsibility on the manner by which multinational corporations (MNC's) conduct their business pushed the issue on the front of public domain, where the outcry is to get the most powerful corporations account for and be responsible for the effects and impact of the manner by which they work for the purpose of profit. In response, Mattel volunteered a company code of conduct; one that it deemed will govern the manner by which it will conduct itself as a for-profit business in the toy industry. While the company's volunteered code took everyone by surprise since the ideals presented appeared noble, and above all, highly conservatively praised - what was more surprising is that after just a few years, the code was abandoned in practice. The authors looked at the code closely and studied its rise and fall, the forces by which led to its abandonment. This discussion on the other hand is going to search for 3 ethical virtues in it - justice, honesty and fairness and how it was attempted to be put in practice in the code.

What is virtue ethics first and foremost and how are these specific virtues put in practice? A definition is in order. Let's begin with virtue ethics. Virtue ethics looks at the character of the person other than the ethical duties, rules or consequences of the action (BBC, 2012). Essentially, it is not just the wrongness of rightness of an action that is important but the ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the case of Mattel and reviews virtue ethics.