Like many other businesses, Tom’s of Maine is facing ethical dilemmas in making decisions within the organization. Since the ethics intensity varies with the nature of situation, the management of Tom’s of Maine has been keen on the formulation of their products.
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For instance, when the company manufactured a deodorant that adhered to ecological requirements, they realized that it caused bad odor to the users (Schermerhorn & Barry, 2011, p. 133). As a result of many complaints from the unsatisfied consumers, the company decided to immediately remove the product from the market, give out refunds, and then apologize.
The organizational culture is an important aspect in the workplace ethics. How a boss treats his/her subordinates has a significant impact on their behaviors. The Tom’s of Maine company designed a mission statement that spelt out respect for the employees as well as a better pay (Schermerhorn & Barry, 2011, p. 123). So, each employee felt certain degree of freedom in making independent decisions.
The external environment of a business also contributes to the ethical decision making in that the organization’s policies conform to the standards set by the government or the industry. For instance, Tom’s of Maine was environmentally conscious and this fact gave it a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market.
Tom’s of Maine’s ethical dilemmas
The company has successfully overcome ethical dilemmas that are commonplace to most managers. This is enshrined in the mission statement they drafted that emphasized on the respect and fair pay for the employees. Tom’s of Maine continuously gives them roles within the organization indiscriminately. In addition it is allowed them time to work and donate some of their income to charities irrespectively of gender, race, religion, or age.
Tom’s ethical decision-making process
As a key decision-making organ in the company, Tom’s office conducts the situation analysis to determine the ethical intensity that a certain decision will present. Mr. Chappell then combines his individual ethics regarding his values and beliefs with the organization’s culture to come up with an acceptable suggestion. Finally, he makes a decision having considered its impact on the external environment.
Evaluation of Tom’s level of rnoraI development using Kohlberg’s levels of individual moral development
In the first level, Kohlbergs talks of an individual being self-centered in his/her decisions. He calls it a preconventional level of moral development. Tom and Kate Chappell started the company that would provide household products that were natural and environmental-friendly, which was their major drive.
In the second level, known as the conventional level, individuals tend to be social-centered. In this level, Tom insisted on the quality of their products so that the consumers could get the real value for their money. Despite the ignorance on the part of users, Tom did not take advantage of it.
The third level is postconventional, where an individual is strongly principle-centered (Schermerhorn & Barry, 2011, p. 111). Even after the sale of the company to Colgate-Palmolive, Tom still remained adherent to his principles in the small section he controlled. It was also clear that he settled on Colgate because of the conformity of principles in both companies.
The Tom’s of Maine’s stakeholders
The stakeholders of Tom’s of Maine include: Tom and Kate Chappell – the owners, employees, customers, charitable organizations, different state governments, and environmentalists.
Evaluation of Tom’s of Maine’s corporate social performance
As a business organization, Tom’s of Maine fulfills its economic and legal responsibility. This explains why the company has been able to increase its customer base and the general productivity. Ethical responsibility has been the most distinguishing factor between the Tom’s of Maine company and other organizations.
Customer loyalty on their products has been a result of their efforts to create products that are environmentally friendly (Schermerhorn & Barry, 2011, p. 126). Their involvement in the acts that discourage pollution has been seen as exemplary and encouraging.
The obstructionist strategy has been shunned by the Tom’s of Maine company. The defensive strategy was exhibited where the top management through its owners tried for a long time to secure an approval seal American Dental Association in order to fulfill the necessary legal requirements. The company as at now has surpassed the accommodative strategy to the proactive level due to its involvement in direct social initiatives that encompasses all discretionary responsibilities.
The company’s ethics self-leadership practices
Being the CEO of the company, Tom takes the greatest responsibility for any action that occurs in the company. To ensure that the environment is conducive, he relies on his well-treated employees. He does not need to inspect every section on a daily basis to ensure that everything works according to the organization’s objectives set. His style of leadership ensures that no operation contravenes the ethics of doing business.
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Reasons for Tom’s of Maine focus on sustainability
The Chappells have been designing policies that ensure that sustainability of their business is not compromised. They have significantly reduced the cost of packaging since they started to use recycled materials. They also ensure that the ingredients used in the processing of the products are purely natural.
Tom always controls that the activities of his company do not tamper with the environment in order to avoid possible resource depletion. He has also put in place measures that make his business legal and his products authentic as this determines the sustainability of the organization. Additionally, he has maintained his reputation as a promoter of environmental, entrepreneurial, and social performance.
Schermerhorn, J., & Barry, W. (2011). Management . Dundas Street, Canada: John Wiley & Sons Limited.