Task ACTIVE LEARNING EXERCISE (MARKETING ETHICS) Introduction Moral philosophy guiding the decision-making at Ford and at Bridgestone/ Firestone The moral philosophy that guided the decision-making at the ford company was the utilitarianism perspective. This is because, Ford considered the long-term effects of their actions and decision-makings and compromised on the real safety issues that were at hand. For instance, many cars manufactured during the troubled periods when accidents occurred frequently, the top administration of the company knew the risks that were undertaken but still chose to ignore. At Bridgestone/ Firestone, the perspective taken was similar to that of Ford because they also compromised a lot on the methods of damage control of their supposed mistakes (Berkowitz, Pp. 109).
By deciding to close a manufacturing plant in Decatur, Illinois, they were exhibiting their ability to throw blame to show that it was not entirely their fault, that things went wrong Change of decision-making model as lawsuits mounted Sometime in 1995, an insurance company, State Farm Insurance, notified Ford that there was an increase in claims related to firestone using vehicles. Due to this, ford took it upon them self to gradually desist from using firestone tires.
This was a good decision on their part, however, it came a little bit too late because some consumers had already suffered accidents owing to the tires. Bridgestone on the other hand, decided to distance them self from the whole debacle by claiming that it is the car manufacturer who was at fault and not their tires. They went further ahead to advise car owners to check frequently the tire pressure of their vehicles to maintain good performance and safety. Ford’s handling of the situation surrounding the development, marketing and subsequent recall was unethical but legal The way in which ford handled the situation was unethical but legal.
Unethical because the executives put the company’s interest first and totally disregarded the safety of the consumer. They had conducted many tests on the safety of the vehicles but still ignored the underlying consequences of the minor details they had ignored (Berkowitz, Pp. 110). Because of this, some of their customers died from accidents that were avoidable, had the correct measurements taken. Before mass production of the vehicles, they should have ensured maximum safety precautions are in place.
In 2001, ford attempted to please their potential and current consumers by announcing a pact between them and Top Driver, Inc. , a large driving school company in the USA. This partnership saw the introduction of a driver course aimed at training SUV owners on safe driving. The public received this move with hostility because it implied that accidents occurred due to irresponsible driving on the driver’s part. In the advert they ran in the media, there was a false sense of security created as the SUVs in the video, were weaving in and out of traffic to show invincibility.
This was hypocritical because they claimed to offer driving courses on safety while showing that driving irresponsibly was safe. It was legal because they did not seem to break any laws during their manufacturing endeavors. For all the claims that they had to pay out, they did because they did admit that there were some faults with their automobiles. Recommendations Ford should do a whole overhaul of their decision-making methods because clearly they have no remorse for anything that happens beyond making profits for the company.
This is what makes them unethical. It is important for them also to define the objectives of the company as far as customer satisfaction is concerned (Berkowitz, Pp. 108). They should consider how to handle the needs of customer first, even those that are unknown to him or her. Big companies such as Ford are trusted by consumers worldwide and should therefore have a moral obligation to protect the interest of the consumer. In light of the issues faced earlier, the lawsuits, the insurance claims and bad media campaigns, they should redirect their energy to all the safety issues raised by their engineers, safety guidelines and consumer reports.
This will save them money on recalls and unnecessary lawsuits. In addition to that, ethically, it will save lives and allow them moral authority over their consumers. Works cited Berkowitz, Eric. Marketing. New York: Irwin/McGraw-Hill. 2000. Pp. 108-111.