Corporate Responsibility

FORUM DISCUSSION: Thoroughly analyze (250+ words) the following:

Harmony Markets operates a chain of grocery stores in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky and Texas. Harmony’s Distribution Center (“Center”) is located in Dallas. The Center employs 1,200 people. Harmony has recently seen profits fall by 10% per year for each of the last three years. To address this concern, Harmony’s shareholders have urged Harmony to relocate the Center to a foreign country where average wages are $9.75 per hour. Harmony currently pays its employees who work at the Center an average wage of $22.25 per hour. Harmony also provides all employees with comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance. To help improve the standard of living for workers in the foreign country, Harmony has agreed to: (1) Pay all foreign employees at least $11.50 per hour; and (2) Provide a comprehensive medical insurance plan.

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After factoring in the higher cost of shipping, the lower wages, and the cost of medical insurance, Harmony has determined that it can operate at a profit two years after the relocation. However, if the Center closes, it will layoff all 1,200 employees. Based on labor flow studies, it will take these 1,200 people at least 12 months to find comparable work (many will not be able to find the same comprehensive medical insurance that Harmony currently provides all of its employees). On the other hand, the Center will hire at least 1,000 workers at its overseas location.

The relocation must be approved by Harmony’s Board of Directors. A special meeting of the Board has been called to discuss the relocation.

(1) Half of Harmony’s Board of Director’s opposes the relocation on the basis that God would not want Harmony to layoff 1,200 people. Explain, in detail, the ethical theory that best supports the Board’s opposition?

(2) The other half of Harmony’s Board of Directors supports the relocation based on the Board’s assessment that relocating offers more good results than bad results. Explain, in detail, the ethical theory that best supports the other half of the Board?


(3) Explain, in detail, what you believe Harmony should do (i.e., should it stay or should it relocate?). Which ethical theory best supports your decision? NOTE: Your decision may not rely on any of the ethical theories discussed above.NOTE: The only ethical theories you may consider in responding to this forum assignment are those identified in the first chapter of the course text.

For more information on Corporate Responsibility read this:

Introduction & Corporate Responsibility

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