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Analysis of the famous case study ‘Pinto Madness’ by Dowie, 1977 using several ethical theories

Number of Words : 3113

Number of References : 10


 Introduction 2
 Pinto Madness 3
 Ethical Issues and Ethical Theories 5
 Utilitarianism – A Consequentialist Approach 5
 Universalism - A Deontological Approach 7
 Virtue Ethics – Business Context 9
 Whistle-blowing 10
 Alternative Course of Action 11
 Conclusion 11
 References 13


Ethics have become a topic of debate in every aspect of human life. Ethics in business has never come under the scanner from public and the critics the way it is in today’s world. The businesses today are expected to show the highest corporate responsibility. Consumers have become highly aware of the ethical issues and this has added more pressure on the business to follow ethical practices in business. “Business ethics is the study of business situations, activities, and decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed” (Crane & Matten, 2007). There are were situations in today’s business world where businesses and their stakeholders are required to make ethical decisions which is some times against the core purpose of business, which is to maximize profits. But not all businesses abide to follow ethical practices and such behavior comes under a lot of scrutiny once the adverse affects of the decision or unethical behavior is witnessed or identified by bigger audience. Various arguments are made supporting corporate responsibility of a firm and how they must practice business ethics. But there are also various instances when business argue and even prove that some of the ethical practices are not in sync with the core purpose of business and hence following those business practices do not make business sense. Every business at some stage is required to make an ethical decision are required to practice ethical behavior. Failure to do so can lead to consequences that can be disastrous and in long run harm the overall business.<br />This report analyses the case study “Pinto madness” (Dowie, 1977) published in September/October 1977 issue of Mother Jones. The case study discusses how the Ford’s Pinto poor design led to the death of hundreds and how Ford deliberately failed to follow business ethics which if it had done would have saved hundreds of lives. This report critically evaluates the case study and relates it to various ethical theories and suggests alternate course of action that could have been taken by Ford Motor Company.<br />

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