Ethics is very important for any business. Nevertheless, not all companies follow ethical business practices for different reasons such as the desire to produce and earn more, inaccuracy, and so on. This paper will focus on unethical business practices of Mattel and give recommendations to managers on how to deal the faced issues.
The ethical issue of Mattel was based on the company’s desire to cut costs and increase profits. The desire to earn more usually results in low product quality putting the customers under risk. Such situation happened with Mattel. The company shifted its manufacturing to China to cut costs as labor is cheaper there. However, it led to some issues with quality. The toys produced were painted with toxic paint and contained the amount of lead content 180 times higher than allowed. Moreover, small magnets in dolls were not attached well, and they could harm children if swallowed. Thus, dolls became the main hazard, and Mattel was forced to recall them. As a result, its reputation was spoiled after that ethical issue (Nayab, 2014).
The ethical issue of Mattel was serious, because it posed danger to customers and was very harmful to the company’s reputation. Thus, the managers of Mattel should follow some recommendations to cope with the issue and avoid similar problems in the future. First, they should do their best to eliminate the previous issue and its possible consequences. It is necessary to watch the recall of dangerous dolls carefully in order to ensure that all products of inappropriate quality were removed from stores. As a result, the hazards to customers will be minimized, and there will be no risk of spoiling the reputation again because of newly bought dangerous dolls.
Second, the managers of Mattel should investigate how many dolls were already purchased and, if possible, take them from customers to eliminate risks. For instance, they can provide information on the issue in the press and Internet and persuade customers to send the dolls back for compensations to avoid risks to their children. To stimulate customers and cover their nonmaterial damage, it is suggested to compensate them more money compared to the sums they paid for dolls.
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Third, Mattel should apologize for the ethical issue and promise to avoid such problems in future. It should apologize on TV and in press, as well as on its website and communities in social networks. Mattel should explain the issue and its causes as well as promise that the consequences will be eliminated as soon as possible and will not be repeated in future. It will show that the company is responsible and realizes its mistakes. Thus, the reputation will be improved, and the customers will not boycott Mattel’s products.
Finally, Mattel managers should do their best to prevent similar issues from repeating. To do that, they should investigate why the issue occurred and who was responsible for it. It is better to find other manufacturing facilities that will be able to produce toys of high quality even if production will cost more. High quality of product will eliminate ethical issues in future. Thus, it is necessary to develop a proper business plan of a new production. The company should realize that it must care of its customers, not only its revenues.
In conclusion, the ethical issue of Mattel was serious because its products became dangerous to customers. It occurred since the firm regarded its profits more important than reputation and customer care. It is necessary to eliminate issue as soon as possible and prevent similar cases. The company should take care of not only profits, but also customers.