Have you ever knowingly
purchased a counterfeit product – perhaps a purse or a wallet or maybe a watch
What are some of the
implications for your purchase decision for the real company as well as for the
entrepreneur selling the counterfeit product.
Topics to consider include:
1. Why is there a market for
2. How does this market benefit
3. What does it mean for the
company producing the real product?
4. Where was the counterfeit
product likely to have been made?
5. How do counterfeit products
help an economy? How do they hurt it?
6. How do decisions to buy
counterfeit items influence new product development policies at
7. Would a legal system that
protects property rights changes any of your answers?
Working Conditions in a Chinese Factory
The closing case describes the deplorable working
conditions at the Metai factory in China that supplies computer parts directly
to U.S. computer maker Dell, and indirectly to Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.
Workers at the factory work long hours doing monotonous tasks and have just two
days per month off. Wages are very low, and employees are forbidden to
converse, listen to music, or even take bathroom breaks while on the job.
When alerted to the conditions at the factory in early 2009, all three
companies expressed dismay and promised prompt investigations and appropriate
action, however, by 2011, no efforts to improve the situation for workers at
the factory had been made.
1. What enables the owners of the Metai factory profiled
in this case to get away with such awful working conditions?
2. Should U.S. companies like Microsoft, Dell,
and Hewlett-Packard be held responsible for working conditions in foreign
factories that they do not own, but where subcontractors make products for
3. What labor standards regarding safety,
working conditions, overtime, and the like should U.S. companies hold foreign
factories to: those prevailing in that country or those prevailing in the
4. Do you think the U.S. companies mentioned in
this case need to make changes to their current policies? If so,
what? Should they make changes even if they hinder their ability compete
in the marketplace?