Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics-Accounting

Reader 1

Douglas McEachern

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© 2013 Kevin Amirdjanian

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. The first goal is to qualitatively explore what ethics is and how companies can create a lasting culture of ethics. I explore the meanings of ethics, corporate ethics, and the responsibilities that companies have to shareholders and the public. The second goal is to demonstrate how a culture of ethics can help to prevent product recalls by creating a control environment that catches potentially dangerous products before they leave the facility. This is achieved through an analysis of three case studies: 1) Johnson & Johnson’s response to the Chicago Tylenol Murders of 1982, 2) Peanut Corporation of America’s response to its peanut butter recalls in 2009, and 3) Toyota Motor Corp’s response to the recalls of 2009-2011. The paper concludes by discussing trends in product safety over the last forty years and explaining why business ethics are an economic imperative, not just in preventing product recalls but also in protecting consumers.

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