Ethical Dimensions of the Wright County Egg Company Recall
In chapter two, business ethics is defined as the principles and standards that determine acceptable conduct in business organizations (BACW, p. 36). The acceptability of behavior in business is determined by customers, competitors, government regulators, interest groups, and the public, as well as each individual’s personal moral principles and values. After reading multiple sources, Jack DeCoster, owner of the Wright County Egg Company, has a long history of making questionable decisions when it comes to the safety operations of his farms, and as a result failed on his social obligation to act responsibly. Chapter two defines social responsibility as a business’s obligation to maximize its positive impact and minimize its negative impact on society (BACW, p. 37), clearly cementing my stance that Mr. DeCoster acted unethically in exchange of maximizing profits.
Learning to recognize ethical issues is the most important step in understanding business ethics. An ethical issue is an identifiable problem, situation, or opportunity that requires a person or organization to choose from among several actions that may be evaluated as right or wrong, ethical or unethical (BACW, p. 40.) The DeCoster farms produced salmonella-tainted eggs that sickened an estimated 1,900 people and led to a recall of 550 million eggs. Later, federal inspectors uncovered filthy conditions at the farms, including dead rodents and towers of manure. The major ethical issue here lies within the product safety and quality that eventually led to the harm of customers and consumers (FDA). DeCoster was able to build a vast egg empire with hard work and cutthroat tactics. He expanded his egg farms even as they were often cited and charged with immigration, safety, environmental and labor violations (Empire of Eggs). Although he regularly clashed with regulators, he won others over by generously donating money to local municipal...
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