April 1, 2013
Although Johnson & Johnson took a massive short-term loss of its actions, their actions was in fact the best course of action for the company at the present and if it wanted to remain a respectful company in the future. A company should never in a case such as this take the approach to find a cheaper option to resolve the problem, in this particular case a mass scare not only in the Midwest but across the United States had formed and it was absolutely necessary to pull the product nationwide as precautionary measures. Although in the end the company suffered a decline in their shares, the decision proved to be invaluable and gained the respect and security of the public- ultimately allowing the company to gain their status back. The question was should Johnson & Johnson have acted the same way if the survival of the firm were at state? Absolutely, companies take risks in the market arena every day- therefore why not take a risk that could possible save lives? This was not about the survival of the firm, it was about the safety of families across the nation.
James Burke was correct in saying that there was no other decision to make, and I agree pulling just the product only from the Midwest in my opinion would have proved to be fatal to the company’s reputation, and trust of the consumers, hospitals, pharmacy’s would have been lost. I truly do not believe that had Mr. Burke went in another direction and played monopoly, Tylenol would not be at the status it is in today. There was in fact a moral imperative to recall all Tylenol, had Johnson & Johnson not pulled the product nationwide their actions would have been perceived as greed and lack of concern for the general public. The interest would have been looked upon as to the company’s survival and their financial stability, so often market giants like Johnson & Johnson protect the interest of the company and its shareholders- dismissing the small fish if you will “the consumer”. This incident was a moral and ethical debate, and I am pleased that the company elected to choose its battle’s wisely.
The moral minimum was acceptable standard ethical business behavior of Johnson & Johnson as a corporation. In this case study, if the standard of practice was used then the process would not favor some stakeholders more than others, the process would be fair and consistent leaving the company with an appearance of high ethical standards. I would not defend balancing the interest of some stakeholders more than others, as a team it should be common practice that all for one and one for all. Therefore no one person or person(s) should be held at a higher interest than another, if there is a crisis then all must be subjected to the same outcome.
I cannot think of any scenario that would make it acceptable to sale and distribute a product that is potentially fatal, no matter what country…