Does This Milkshake Taste Funny?
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In this case, George Stein, a college student who is employed by the Eastern Dairy is faced with an ethical dilemma of whether he should remove the filters of the piping and let the production run of milkshake mix be contaminated with maggots or not. The other 5 co-workers of George do not seem to care much about the quality or the hygiene of the product. Paul, a self proclaimed leader of the group has advised George to remove the filters from the piping in order to save company money and to be done with the process on time. George was definitely disturbed by the idea of removing the filters because he thought of children drinking the contaminated milkshake as the company distributed the milkshake to fast food restaurants and drive ins. The company has set two goals for the night shift; one would be to make sure that the order for the night shift gets done, and to make sure that the pipes are clean by the end of the shift.
There are several issues that can be outlined from this case and the most notable one is the clear lack of proper management, training, adherence to industry standards and accountability. Absence of a manager on site is the biggest indication of this. Managers are responsible to create a work environment that helps the organization to maintain ethical business relationships while achieving their goals. George and Paul clearly do not have same set of values. Paul’s priority is to get home on time and to complete the production needs of that night at all cost with total disregard of the Business Ethics. On the other hand, George is feeling guilty of doing something unethical which puts the consumers health at risk.
Another issue is the selfish culture of the organization and how it operates. We can see from the two goals set by the company for the night shift that the upper management do not care about how those goals are achieved, as the night shift staff is involved in non-work activities almost regularly without any repercussions. This also stems down to subordinates, as Paul advises to act selfishly. Also, when George brings the issue of maggots to him, Paul’s reaction clearly indicates that this was not the first time he was encountering the particular problem and he advised to proceed just as he did in the past. He did not feel the need to change his behaviour towards the problem because he realized that the selfish culture of the company would not recognize the importance of the decision but instead penalise the workers for not completing the task provided to them.
Third issue is the most important one and that is the lack of ethical awareness and the importance of Business Ethics and ethical decisions in the workplace. This practice needs to be imbedded in the core of all decision making of the organization as failures to do so have immense consequences in the long run. Employees should seek guidance from these values whenever an ethical issue arises. Lack of Social Responsibility shown by