Part One – The Facts of the Situation
the video concerning the Ford Pinto
Study: Ford Pinto by EthicsWatch
Part Two – Materials You Need to Complete the
Part Three – The Exam
The Dilemma – You are the company ethics officer for the
Ford Motor Company. You are scheduled to
present to the Board of Directors. The
Board has called upon you for your advice concerning the gas tank problem with
the Ford Pinto.
Ford has essentially bet
the future of the company on the Ford Pinto.
The marketing department reports consumer polling shows overwhelming
demand for the car. The dealerships
report people are pre-ordering the car.
The assembly plants report they are ready to commence production. All
that is needed is for the Board of Directors to say go and then within weeks
America’s roads will be crowded with the new Ford Pinto.
But there’s that pesky
gas tank problem. The Board wants to
know whether the decision to put the car into production is ethical or
not. Is it ethical to put the care into
production given the fact the members know to a mathematical certainty that 180
people will unknowingly drive the Ford Pinto into a fiery and painful death?
Here are the Probable
who will die
assembly line workers
at auto parts plants
in the factory towns who depend on the wages paid to workers at the factories
free to think of a few more
Five Business Tactics available to the company in addition to putting the car
into production with the defective gas tank design.
Each Business Tactic, State a Key Issue to Think About.
Each Key Issue to Think About, State a Probable Response.
Each Probably Response, Formulate a “But What If” Question.
One of the Five Probable Responses. For
the Probable Response Chosen, Answer the Five Ethical Analysis Questions. A “yes” or “no” answer is not
acceptable. State your reasoning.
the action clearly help more people than it will harm?
well can the people who are harmed recover from the type of harm produced?
this a win-lose situation in which the decision-maker wins and the other
universal set of rights, values or principles are being honored?
university set of rights, value or principles are being broken?