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Ethical Challenges Faced by Employees of the Organization

In a 3- to 5-page Microsoft Word document, present your findings on the ethical challenges faced by your
approved global, publicly traded organization in recent history and the near future. Be sure to:
� Discuss ways in which each challenge was (and/or could be) appropriately handled and areas for
� Investigate and explain the ethical/moral aspects of your organization that have in the past or could in
the future protect it from ethical challenges.
� Detail how this information could positively or negatively impact the charitable cause you’ve selected
and how the selection of your social cause could positively or negatively impact the company and its
Justify your reasoning and cite course materials and articles from your research and the South University
Online Library.


Identifying Ethical Challenges Faced by Employees of the Organization


General motor’s Ltd remains one of the functional entities that serve as the back born of
the U.S economy. In respect to this, it is essential to establish that recently, the company faced
some ethical challenges that need to be justified (Adela & Monica, 2011). One of the astounding
questions that rose from this ethical challenge remains as to why the company chose to build and
sell its products to millions of its consumers when they knew the product was potentially fatal to
its users. This clearly details the ethical commitment of establishing solutions to address such an
ethical challenge within the organization, an aspect that this paper seeks to establish.
Ethical Challenges Faced by Employees of the Organization
The genesis of this controversy resulted when this giant car manufacturer failed in
recalling its faulty cars at the required time, known very well of the existence of a problem for a
long time. The problem that GM encountered is linked to its vehicles detent plunger, a spring
within the ignition switch that provides enough torque to vehicles and holds the key in the switch
to avoid turning off the car’s engine (Calderón, Ferrero & Redin, 2012). As a result of this,
several clients experienced technical problems since the ignition keys fell off the switch, thus
shutting down the engine and disabling other safety functionalities that are powered by the
engine of a car.

According to Kant’s maxims theory, it was improbable for the company’s executives to
unknowingly drive faulty cars. On the other hand, it would not be justified that GM’s employees
would be in a position to risk their lives driving these faulty vehicles, an aspect that proves the
fact that they had an idea about the dangers of these vehicles and neglected these aspects.
According to Calderón, Ferrero & Redin (2012).it is questionable whether the company’s
employees were comfortable not knowing that a multitude of the products they use on a daily
basis was lethal (pp.234).
Through their inaction, the company left the faulty ignition systems to go through the
production process, an aspect that resulted in the generation of millions of faulty vehicles. In this
case, it is important that the employees had the capacity to detect the problem and prevent the
fatalities that resulted from these faulty vehicles (Calderón, et.al.2012). The results of these
technical errors, 13 deaths and 35 car crashes were recorded, an aspect that saw the company link
these accidents to the failure to use airbags. GM also recorded a loss of close to 30 million cars,
an aspect that affected its operations.
In accordance with the utilitarian theory, the choices of the company must have been
made in light of the consequences that would result. On the other hand, deontological theories
also assert that every rational company needs to act in accordance with reason and duty.
However, GM ignored these consequences and chose to continue producing faulty cars, an
aspect that affected millions of its consumers in the U.S (Calderón, et.al.2012). In this case, it is
important to establish that the actions of this company contradicted the Utilitarian and
Deontological ideologies on ethical actions, an aspect that makes it difficult to justify their
actions in light of ethical responsibility towards their loyal customers. This clearly necessitates a

clear path for GM that would guide its future decisions and protect it from ethical challenges in
order to become an ethical driving force
Ethical/Moral Aspects of GM That Would Protect It from Ethical Challenges
GM needs to ensure it takes actions aimed at guiding its ethical conduct as noted in the
utilitarian theory since its actions have only benefited a few of individuals. GM should ensure
that all its future actions define the best interests of the largest population, an aspect that holds on
the principle of welfare and happiness of the consumers and the general public above the profits
and concerns of the company (Hanson, 2014). In addressing these issues, the company needs to
direct its monetary profits from the sales of its products in an escrowed kit that funds victims
affected. Through this, the company will be in a position to prevent the future pain that families
affected by the loss of their loved ones face.
On the other hand, GM needs to incorporate workplace policies as defined in the
company’s mission, vision, philosophy and codes of conduct into its performance management
initiatives, an aspect that would see the employees of the company held accountable for any
actions and alerts them to the need to uphold their responsibilities to professional standards
(Hanson, 2014). GM would additionally need to revise its employee handbook to include these
newly developed policies and ensure that copies are provided to the employees, also obtaining
acknowledgments from the employees that they understand these ethics.
Alternatively, the company may be required to incorporate workplace ethics training for
its employees, through the use of different instruction methods that ensure the employees are
engaged in learning how to establish and address some of the ethical dilemmas they face
(Hanson, 2014). In this case, it is advisable to incorporate a role-play or experiential leaning
approach in fostering workplace ethics training.

The Impact of This Information in Impacting the Causes Detailed for GM
One of the positive impacts of this information in impacting the causes established that
would guide GM in making ethical considerations in the future is the initiation of moral
behaviors within an organization since most ethical issues that arise in organizations result from
individualized decisions (Brown, Buchholtz & Dunn, 2016). In this case, the organization will
be in a position to promote a community within the organization that communicates and share
some of the ethical challenges that may arise. It is, however, important to note that this change
may result in a conflict especially from employees who would resist such changes, an aspect that
may negatively impact the inclusion of these approaches in the functions of the organization.


In view of the ethical challenge that GM faced, it is important for the company to take
consideration of developing initiatives and approaches aimed at addressing these challenges and
instilling positive workplace values that are compliant to the element of ethics.



Adela, Z. L., & Monica, T. R. (2011). The Specific Market Research Methodology Used At
General Motor’s Europe. Annals of the University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series,
20(2), 209-214.
Calderón, R., Ferrero, I., & Redin, D. M. (2012). Ethical codes and corporate responsibility of
the most admired companies of the world: Toward a third generation ethics?. Business &
Politics, 14(4), 1-24.

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