BMA250 Managerial Social Responsibility
Time Allowed: Your answers must be emailed to [email protected] by
Monday 20 June at 5.00pm SHARP (HOBART Time)
This Capstone Assignment consists of two sections, Section A and Section B.
Section A consists of a case study analysis. Candidates must answer all FIVE (5) compulsory questions. Section A is worth a total of 30 marks.
Section B consists of FIVE (5) essay questions of which candidates must answer THREE (3) questions. Each question is worth 10 marks for a total of 30 marks.
This Capstone Assignment counts for 60 per cent of the marks for this unit.
SECTION A¾CASE STUDY ANALYSIS (30 marks)
Candidates must read the following case study and answer ALL of Questions 1-5. Section A is worth 30 marks in total.
(A) YOUR ENTIRE ANSWER IS LIMITED TO 2000 WORDS MAXIMUM
(B) ALL ANSWERS MUST BE FORMATTED IN TIMES NEW ROMAN, SIZE 12 FONT, 1.5/DOUBLE LINE SPACING WITH NORMAL MARGINS
(C) YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DEFINE ANY THEORIES OR PROVIDE REFERENCES IN YOUR ANSWERS
(D) ALL ANSWERS SUBMITTED MUST BE YOUR OWN WRITTEN WORK. ANY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF COPIED TEXT WILL ATTRACT ZERO MARKS
Describe the facts you feel underpinned ‘Safety and the Marketing of the Cop-OUT Radar Detector’ case.
Who was the decision-maker in the case, and what conflicting demands did they have to accommodate?
What was the initial ethical dilemma faced by the decision-maker in this case?
Using the Utilitarian, Kantian, Rights, and Distributive Justice approaches to ethical decision-making, provide an analysis of the initial ethical dilemma you identified in the case. (NB: Use each of the theories separately in your analysis).
Present and justify the final recommendation you would have made to the decision-maker in this case had they asked you for advice on how to resolve their initial ethical dilemma.
Safety and the Marketing of the Cop-OUT Radar Detector
You are the CEO of the Cutting-Edge Marketing Company, a medium-sized firm that specialises in preparing the marketing strategies, performing the market research studies, arranging the distribution channels, and designing the advertising and promotional materials for industrial companies that have developed “off-shoot” consumer products. You obviously serve a very specific niche market; your clients are industrial companies – i.e., they sell primarily to other manufacturing firms (business-to-business marketing) and to government agencies – that have unintentionally developed products that are predominantly suitable the retail trade. The Dow Chemical Company (one of your clients) is an ideal example of this type of firm: through their R&D efforts, they have developed a range of popular products (such as the Dow Bathroom Cleaner and Zip-Lock bags) that they pay your company to market to the retail (business-to-consumer) sector.
Your company’s other clients tend not to be as large as Dow Chemical Company nor as well-established in the retail market. Most of had very little experience in retail sales, and they generally are not very sophisticated in their advertising methods. They tend, therefore, to rely heavily upon the advice of the account executives and advertising experts at your company (and other companies like yours). The competitive advantage that your company has over its competitors is the nature and longevity of the personal relationships that your team have established with important retailers in the consumer product advertising industry. These “permanent and personal” relationships that are inherent to your company (but are not typical not in the industry in general) were recently tested after approach by one of your larger (and more important) clients. This particular client (who accounts for between 20% and 25% of your annual revenue) developed a new type of radar detector. Radar detectors are simple yet extremely sensitive radio receivers that are tuned to the wavelength of the police radar. When a car equipped with a detector first enters the radar field, a warning light flashes or a buzzer sounds enabling the driver to slow down, if necessary, before the speed of the vehicle can be calculated by the police equipment. The use of radar detectors, thus enables drivers to avoid being stopped and fined for speeding.
Radar detectors are considered ‘controversial’ products, as speeding is associated with traffic accidents. There were over 1 million traffic accidents involving passenger cars in the last year, and just over 600,000 traffic accidents involving trucks and heavier vehicles. These 1.6 million traffic accidents resulted in 594 deaths, 1200 severe injuries are required hospitalisation, 7900 moderate injuries that required attention by medical personnel, extensive minor injuries, uncounted personal traumas, and huge financial losses. In addition to this, speeding was said to be a factor in 65% of all traffic accidents, and in 87% of those the cause deaths and severe injuries due to the greater impacts come from the higher speeds. It has to be admitted, however, that these statistics are not totally reliable – investigators estimate speed based on the length of tyres’ skid-marks and extent of physical damage evident, but estimates made on this evidence are obviously inexact. Further, “speeding” is defined as any vehicle velocity above the posted limits, and it is claimed that the posted limit is considerably below the safe capability of modern cars and modern roadways.
Vehicle speed, moreover, is only one of the factors that cause traffic accidents. Alcohol intoxication is believed to be associated with about 30% of all accidents, and 48% of all actions result in death and severe injury. Often speed and intoxication together are held to be the cause. Again, though, there is a problem in measuring intoxication. The percentage of alcohol in the blood stream that impairs physical response time on personal judgement varies with the body weight, physical conditioning, and drinking history of the individual. Police and medical attendants use a test that takes into account only body weight and, further, it is said by representatives of the license beverage (beer, wine, and liquor) industry that the legal threshold for intoxication has been set much too low. Most drivers would be considered to be “driving under the influence” if they consumed two or three glasses of beer or wine within 30 minutes of an accident.
In summary, it cannot be said that the exact cause of most severe traffic accidents is known with certainty, but it is believed that speeding and drinking, jointly or separately, play some role in the events that led up to those accidents. Also, to blame, in many instances, are the state of the highways, the weather conditions, the maintenance of the vehicle, the time of day (many severe accidents occur at dusk, with poor lighting and tired drivers), and the presence of radar detectors. A study by the State police found that radar detectors were present in at least one of the vehicles involved in 70% of all severe traffic accidents occurring over the last 10 years. Similar police studies from all of the other states have found similar statistics.
The use of radar detectors is only illegal some states, but neither the manufacturer nor the marketing of the radar detectors has ever been banned by the federal government, which, of course, is the sole authority which regulates interstate trade. The Federal Constitution forbids any state from restricting imports from any other state. Currently, therefore, there often occurs an unusual situation in which the use of the radar detector sets may be illegal within a given state, but the importation of radar detectors is not illegal and can’t be prohibited by any state. The manufacture and marketing of radar detectors represents an expanding industry, with total sales revenues reaching $100 million in the last financial year. Whilst traditional radar detectors were becoming obsolete due to the police changing to lasers rather than radar technology, the new Cop-OUT radar detector developed by your client is able to detect both radar and laser technologies in enough time for the driver to make the necessary changes to their speed before it can be detected (which would make them a highly sought-after product in the retail market). A full explanation of the technology is not needed; it is sufficient to say that the device works on the principle that the light waves from the police laser interfere with a certain spectrum of exceedingly short range radio signal broadcast from the detector set in the police car, and that this interference can be detected by the Cop-OUT detector even when the police car is can be more than 1000 metres away.
The electronics firm that developed the new radar/laser detection came to the senior account executive at your company and requested a marketing plan supported by market research. The marketing plan was developed; it had a heavy emphasis upon direct distribution supported by extensive advertising. The market research was completed; it showed that the first entrant with this new technology could rapidly build market share. The client requested that a young associate who had prepared a very successful advertising programs for the client’s earlier products be assigned to design the promotional materials for the Cop-OUT product. The young associate (Marilyn Schaefer), refused, saying privately that she felt it was not “right” to market radar and/or laser detectors that lead to more numerous and more severe highway accidents at a greater incidence of death, suffering, and injury. The marketing director propose other employees at the associate level within the creative segment of the company, but the client’s representative wanted Marilyn Schaefer to do the work specifically; without Marilyn Schaefer’s input, the client would seek marketing assistance from another company. Marilyn continued to refuse to work on the marketing project, though expressing only her reasons to her direct line-manager, George Szabo. Eventually, the conflict between Marilyn and George reached the stage at which George said to Marilyn, “you either work on this product with me, or don’t work at this company for anyone” – Marilyn continued to refuse, so George fired her on the spot.
Marilyn Schaefer immediately came to you, as CEO of the company, saying that it was not right to fire a person because of their moral beliefs. George Szabo quickly followed, saying that for 20 years he had followed the stated company policy of providing clients with personalised service, and that if Marilyn did not want to do so she could not work for him and she could not work for the company. George also said that if Marilyn were reinstated at the company, he would take this as a personal affront and a fatal undermining of his authority, and that he would resign immediately. You realise that George Szabo is one of only three senior executives at your firm, and he has a very loyal following of clients, and that he might well be able to take those clients with him if he did resign. Further individual conversations with the client’s representative, Marilyn and George on the following day showed no change in their positions or expectations.
SECTION B¾ESSAY QUESTIONS (30 marks)
Candidates must answer THREE (32) of the following FIVE (5) questions. Each question in Section B is worth 10 marks for a total of 30 marks.
(A) EACH ANSWER IS LIMITED TO 1000 WORDS MAXIMUM
(B) ALL ANSWERS SHOULD BE FORMATTED IN TIMES NEW ROMAN, SIZE 12 FONT, 1.5/DOUBLE LINE SPACING WITH NORMAL MARGINS
(C) YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE REFERENCES IN YOUR ANSWERS
(D) ALL ANSWERS SUBMITTED MUST BE YOUR OWN WRITTEN WORK. ANY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF COPIED TEXT WILL ATTRACT ZERO MARKS
Define Friedman’s and Freeman’s perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) including the major criticism identified by critics. Using an example, discuss how the Kew Garden’s Principle informs the Moral Minimum perspective of CSR.
Define the notion of a “Conflict of Interest”. What are the potential ethical dilemmas that might arise from having a conflict of interest in the workplace, and what strategies might you consider employing to avoid them?
Identify and define the major ethical issues that may arise in the development of a Marketing Mix (i.e., Price, Place, Product and Promotion). What strategies might a manager employ to avoid the ethical issues that exist in the “truth in advertising” debate?
Using the four ethics theories covered in the seminar, describe the differences between ‘functional’ and ‘dysfunctional’ discrimination. Using examples published in online news sources since 2021, describe strategies organisations have used to minimise dysfunctional discrimination in their workplace.
Using examples from online news sources published since 2021, define the concept of ‘trade secret’ as it relates to the production and sale of goods and services. What strategies can an organisation use to effectively protect its trade secrets?