Business Ethics Critical Analysis
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? ‘Good ethics is good business and bad ethics is bad business are connected’ (Burton & Goldsby 2010). Mattel has been quite effective at encouraging ethical and legal conduct. It has developed its Global Manufacturing Principles for sub contractors and global manufacturers.These ‘including employee health and safety, environmental management and ensuring that employees are treated fairly and with respect, to the cultural, ethnic and philosophical differences of the countries where Mattel operates’ (Mattel Inc. 2010).
Mattel also assists its manufacturers to meet its Global Manufacturing Principles or code of conduct. However, ‘if a business partner is either unable or unwilling to work with Mattel in order to meet and maintain its standards, Mattel is prepared to end the working relationship’ (Mattel Inc. 010). Although Mattel has a good Global Manufacturing Principles, it also needs to update its principles in timely manner. The nature of business is rapidly changing nowadays. As Mattel is operating more than one hundred countries across the world, sometimes it is hard to control all the production facilities or code of conduct of sub contractors. To resolve this problem, Mattel can tighten its principles by specifying different principles in different regions based on ethics, local culture and law and work force.
Another change Mattel could take into consideration is it should monitor the implementation of its Global Manufacturing Principles frequently, rather than to set the principles and do nothing. Finally, Mattel must tell its customers and stakeholders if any possible hazards or dangers occur using a product. Some ‘companies do not tell consumers about accidents even after they have withdrawn products from sale’ (Pearlman & Ryle 2009). It is moral duty of a company to notify the users.
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Mattel recalled 13,970,000 units of toys from China due to problem with products. Most of the problems emerged due to lead paint and small loose magnets (Gilbert & Wisner, 2010).In a servery it was revealed that the most frequently manifested emotion associated with the Mattel product recall across time was 49% anger in people’s mind (Choi & Lin 2009). There are many ways Mattel is responsible for this collapse. First, the chinse company had been sub contracting another company, which is not approved by Mattel, ultimately supplied the lead paint in the product. Second, in their monthly audit they did not check the quality of each product, which they should have checked. The chinse manufacturer did the quality control and they did not do it properly.
Third, Mattel simply failed to make good design for toys, which caused the loose magnet hazards (Gilbert & Wisner, 2010). Mattel might have avoided the above issues if they made several design changes in their products which caused the loose magnet problem. This problem is not because of production is China. If it was produced in the U. S. A. it also caused the same problem as did in China.
On the other hand, the lead paint problem were occurs due to sufficient supervision in the supply chain management of Mattel’s.There should be more monitoring and controlling needed in the manufacturing chain. Although it was a complex process to manage such a huge process, they could have minimized this if the regulations and code of conduct were tightened and ‘additional industry guidelines were established to require manufacturers to install additional safety features—and require retailers to educate customers about the dangers’ (Abbas, Bamberger & Gebhart 2004).
Mattel should receive control of MGA’s Brats Dolls. The intellectual property was belonging to Mattel, which is design by an employee Carter Bryant. An employee cannot take the intellectual property to another company because the right is belonging to Mattel.
So there is substantial reason to take control of Brats Dolls. Mattel should keep the intellectual property right for Brats Dolls.They should seek fair justice in court in order to gain control over Brats Dolls. In 2008 the federal court revealed that, ‘Carter Bryant, the creator of the multi-ethnic, bigheaded dolls, had created their characters and the name while he was under contract as a Barbie designer at Mattel’ (The New York Times 2008). He was using Mattel materials and workers to create a Brats prototype (Keating 2008). Based on this, Mattel should keep seeking for the intellectual right of Brats Dolls. The Brats Dolls is not a court case-battling toy; it is toy for little children.
Mattel should also consider about all those little girls out there who use the dolls and like the dolls? (Keating 2008) There is also ethical and moral issues to consider regarding to children. If the court case going on and on, and if some stages the court decides to ban the product from selling what would happen to the poor kids everybody should consider. In these circumstances, Mattel should look for a common ground between MGA without affecting the image of Brats Dolls to children’s mind.