Business Ethics: Dealing With Toxic Waste Dumping

Question 1

Imagine that you’re the CEO of a small manufacturing company. An employee has dumped toxic waste in a nearby stream. Who would you call into your office and what would you want to know? Develop a short-term and long-term action plan for dealing with the crisis. Who would you communicate with and why?

I) People called in to discuss

Based on the information in this case, as the CEO of the manufacturing company, it is necessary to call in the following people to discuss the problem faced by us.

i). The employee who was engaged in the toxic waste dumping is the first person who needs to call in by the CEO. And from the employee, it is important for the CEO to get thorough understanding on the reason why the employee would have such kind of action to dump the toxic waste into the stream. And it is also important to find out whether this action is a personal activity or an authorized behavior. If the employee is authorized by somebody, it is so crucial for our company to figure out the actual culprit.

ii). The second person to call in is the supervisor of the department which this employee works in. as the CEO, it is important to know the attitude of this supervisor towards the behavior of this employee and the measure this supervisor plan to carry out to deal with this issue.

iii). The head in the office of safety is the third person required to be called in by the CEO in this organization to discuss the current problem. As a manufacturing company, one of the initial tasks is to deal with the toxic waste problem in today’s world, in which the society has high level of awareness on the environment protection issue. Hence, based on the current situation in our company, we should find out whether our company has designed and carried out a qualified and effective standard to deal with the toxic waste and environment protection issue. And then we can come up some necessary plan or measures to deal with the current issue.

iv).The head in the public relation department is the fourth important person for the CEO to meet. Because the behavior of our employee to dump the toxic waste into the stream whether it is from his own willingness or authorized by others, it will be regarded as a corporate behavior by the public, which may even ruin the reputation of our company and arouse many resistance from the public or even our customers, business partners, the local community or the local government. Hence to hinder the situation become worse, it is so important to discuss with the head in the public relation department in our company and come up with an effective plan to cope with the possibly terrible situation.

v) The fifth one for the CEO to meet is the legal advisor of our company. What we should know is how serious result the behavior of this employee may produce and whether it has violated the legislation. These professional suggestions and analysis for the legal adviser may assist us to deal with this situation more correctly and effectively.

By and large, what the CEO should know is the standard and legal process to deal with this toxic waste in the industry which our company is engaged in. Secondly, it is also important to know all of the possible consequences produced by the behavior of this employee and then produce suitable solutions. Furthermore, as a company which develops depending on the approval of the public, we should report this misbehavior we have done and give the public and our stakeholders with our honest apology, which is aimed to gain their forgiveness and support for the development of our business in the future.

II) Short term and long term action plan

i) Short term action plan and communication information

The purpose to carry out a short term action plan is to give employees in our company a timely lesson to educate them based on this event such as the terrible consequences produced by the behaviors of this employee in the fields such as legal problem, social problem, economy problem as so on.

And as the CEO, it is also important to state clearly on the negative attitude towards the behaviors such as dumping the toxic waste to the stream and other kinds of misbehaviors. Moreover, some harsh punitive measures to punish the misbehaviors or unethical behaviors in the future should be carried out, which may work as warnings to prevent employees to carry out these misbehaviors in the future.

Moreover, the punishment on this employee and other related person in this case should also been carried out, to warn every staff in our organization and to prove our sense of responsibility to the entire society.

ii) Long term action plan and communication information

The long term action plan is designed based on the current situation faced by our manufacturing company referring to the advice from Beauchamp and Bowie (2004) on environmental issue.

Firstly, as the CEO of this manufacturing company, the first step is to develop a relative thorough and comprehensive knowledge on the industry related environment protection issues such as the standard process to deal with the toxic waste, the bad effects of the impropriate disposal of toxic waste, the effective ways to both reduce the population to the environment and reduce the related cost and other important information or knowledge. Because, as the CEO of this company, only possessing professional knowledge on the issue of disposal toxic waste, this whole organization can be directed and guided in a promising direction in the future. (Beauchamp & Bowie 2004)

Secondly, leading our organization to design and develop an ethical code which includes the environmental protection issues and appropriate means to deal with the toxic waste and other business ethical related issues. Furthermore, human resource department should walk in the front to facilitate our organization to design and carry out training programs on business ethics to guide them work positively and correctly to avoid these possible ethical dilemmas in the future. (Beauchamp & Bowie 2004)

Thirdly, in the long term action plan, we should perform actively in the local community in these environmental protection campaigns to show our support and commitment on the environment protection and our determination to become an ethical organization, which may not only assist us to gain many support from the public but also assist us to educate our staffs on the importance of business ethics. (Beauchamp & Bowie 2004)

Fourthly, we will speed up the pace of cooperating with some non-profit organizations to build our organization with the mark of an ethical corporation so as to reduce the native impression from the public on us due to the incident of dumping toxic waste into the stream (Beauchamp & Bowie 2004).

Fifthly, we should keep on updating our knowledge on environment protection and correct method of toxic waste disposal to meet the requirement of the public on environment protection so as to avoid the occurrence of the same incident (Beauchamp & Bowie 2004).

By and large, the impropriate disposal of toxic waste may result in so many side effects not only on the nature but also on our human beings. Hence, it is so important for our company to take immediate action to well cope with this problem and hinder it to have a wider influence in the future.

Hence based on the situation, we plan to get a full understanding on what have happened and figure out these key people involved in this incident. And then with the thorough understanding of the whole thing, we will carry out suitable plans both for the short term and long term as we mentioned above. Generally speaking, we hope our proposal to deal with this incident can actually facilitate us to regain our reputation as a responsible organization and give our staff a meaningful lesson on the business ethical issue.

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