For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Organizations essay

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Part 1

Wounded Warrior Project Company Profile

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that is also not for profit. The project began in 2002, but it was officially incorporated in 2005 in Virginia, USA, and in 2002 it was registered as a social services institution.  Wounded Warrior Project was founded by John Melia, Jim Melia, Albion Giordano, John F. Melia and Steven Nardizzi. The purpose of the organization is to empower wounded soldiers of the United States and offer them support during their recovery process. The organization incorporates activities, such as interactive programs, that enable veterans to share their experiences, support groups, rehabilitation programs, and counseling that help them to overcome trauma and stigma as well as consequently relate properly with their friends, family and the general public. Other activities organized by the project include sports, health, nutrition, mentoring and recreational activities, training and development activities as well as assisting warriors to secure employment and economic empowerment. All these activities enable ex-soldiers and warriors to have meaningful relationships with their families and to coexist within the society. The project also collects donations of food, clothes, and money from well wishers who participate in the activities of the project. Wounded Warrior Project has employed over 100 people and attracted more than 1500 volunteers, most of whom are friends and relatives of the soldiers returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The program also offers services that enable injured soldiers and their families to access the governmental benefits and community resources as well as contribute to the national and legislatives issues (Wolk, 2009).

The organization faces various ethical dilemmas because every decision that its management makes must be in compliance with the organization’s core values and policies. The decisions must also be satisfying according to the society norms, culture and expectations. They must also meet the standards of the laws and rules set by the government on code of conduct of the social institutions. According to the policy of Wounded Warrior Project, the organization is a non-partisan organization. Therefore, it should not incline towards one political party, religion or region more and should always equalize all group stakeholders regardless of their religious or cultural backgrounds. This policy also restricts the organization from taking any donations that are religious in nature or which have been given by a religious group to avoid being partisan towards that group. In January 2013, the organization received a request and $100 as registration fee for the collection and donation of $50000 from the church members and from the students who acted jointly with the church. The management and committee of Wounded Warrior Project were torn between two alternative decisions since such a donation was not allowed by the organization’s policy. The first alternative was to accept the money which would be very useful as it would support the mission of the organization to rehabilitate and empower the wounded warriors. This decision would also satisfy the church members and the students who were eager to help the soldiers. The second alternative was to refuse the donation since it did not comply with the organization’s policy that restricted the organization from being party to any religious organization.

The board of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) made a decision and refused to accept money from the church because the donation was from a religious organization. According to Wounded Warrior Project’s policies, the organization is nonpartisan in nature and, therefore, does not take any donations from the charity events that are religious in nature. According to the church pastor, they had organized a fundraising event that was collecting money from the members and students towards the support of Wounded Warrior project. The church intended to officially launch the campaign when they received news that their donation could not be accepted since it was religious in nature. This ethical dilemma and the decision to refuse the donation led to disappointments among the church members and also among school students in Florida who had prepared for the event which was aiming at raising US$50,000. Young children were asking questions, namely why they could not help the wounded soldiers anymore, and their parents had no answers to give them. The move to refuse donation from a Christian church was also seen as discrimination against Christians with many people complaining and arguing that being religious is not being partisan. The decision was also interpreted as political in nature with some people suggesting that Wounded Warrior Project was under the influence of Democrats and Liberals due to their anti-Christian agenda. This led to a lot of conflicts between the various political parties and created tension among the members of either party as they accused each other of malice and discrimination. The organization also lost trust among its donors, and some even left citing discrimination and bleach of their rights to belong to a religious group such as Christianity. Some of the wounded warrior who professed the Christian faith also felt offended, and some even refused any donation that came from the Wounded Warrior project. The ethical dilemma of whether to accept the donation from the church was a critical one as each decision was bound to create conflicts within the organization. Further the decision not to accept the money simply because it was religious in nature led to even more difficult problems as all the stakeholders, donors, and the wound soldiers were dissatisfied. The committee has agreed to review the decision due to the pressure from the stakeholders.

Part 2

Ford Motor Company Profile

Ford is a company that is involved in the production and sales of automobile such as cars, trucks, and spare parts. The company was established in 1919, and it offers various services under two subsectors: automotive and financial services. Automotive sector is responsible for the sale and distribution of the company’s main brands of vehicles that are Ford and Lincoln. These products are marketed through a chain of distributors and dealers outside North America and through retail dealers within North America. The company also sells its trucks, cars, and spare parts on wholesale to the dealers for resale to car-rental companies, fleet customers, and governments. Automotive sector also offers Ford customers after sales services such as maintenance, repair, accessories and other extended services. Some of its brands include Fusion, Mustang, Escape, Explorer, Range, and Super Duty. Financial services sector is another main subsidiary of Ford Motor Company owned by Ford Motor Credit Company LLC (Ford Credit). This subsidiary offers a wide range of motor financing services to automotive dealers throughout the world, and its responsibilities include financing and supporting dealers of Ford Motor Company. The subsidiary offers various products to the individual customers, such as retail installment sale contract, which allows customers to pay for vehicles through installments. Other services to non-consumers include loans to finance the purchase for vehicles and spare parts. Ford Credit operates in the United States and Canada as well as through FCE Bank within Europe, (Hill, 2012).

The company faces various ethical dilemmas such as deciding what vehicle models are both safe and useful and when to introduce the innovations into the market. One such dilemma is the production and marketing of the Ford Pinto model of automobile. This model has led to the creation of hundreds of jobs and income both directly and indirectly. However, its engine has been criticized of easily bursting into flames and, consequently, causing death and disfigurement of its passengers. For example, in 1978, one such model burst into flames after being hit from the rear by a van causing the death of three young girls as well as other similar accidents that have led to loss of more than 500 lives. Ford Motor Company has been accused by many people of rushing the Ford Pinto into the market without considering its risk hazards and without providing enough efforts prior to testing its fuel system that is very prone to bursting into flames in case of any rear-end collision. Later, a scandal emerged when it was discovered that a safety data had been ignored by Ford prior to production due to the economic benefits that the model was bound to give the company. Later cost-benefit analysis showed that the cost of implementing changes on the vehicle model fuel system was much higher than the economic cost of injuries and death caused by the explosions, which would have otherwise been avoided. Consequently the Ford Pinto was named as one of the worst vehicles by various business magazines such as the Business Week.

The decision to release the Ford Pinto into the market has led to many legal, social, and political outcomes. Some of the legal consequences include a series of lawsuits that were filed against the company. One such case is the Grimshaw versus Ford Motor Company, in which the complainant was a young boy who lost his mother and became disfigured for life after an explosive accident while travelling in a Ford Pinto. The court ruled in favor of the complainant, and Ford Motor Company was ordered to pay $2.5 million as compensation and a further $3.5 million as punitive damages, because the company had declined to change the system despite having prior safety report.  After many reports of explosions the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finally ordered Ford Motor Company to recall the ford Pinto. This led to tremendous financial loses as this vehicle model was not allowed to be sold to the customers anymore. The company also incurred extra costs by providing a plastic protective shield to dealers to be installed in every vehicle and also a new fuel tank that was much resistant to explosions in case of collisions. Other social effects include the destruction of the company image as various media reported that Ford Motor Company was negligent and cared more about the revenue benefits than about the safety of the consumers. 

The company also lost trust from its clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders due to the negative publicity, and, consequently, it has suffered losses. The big losses accompanied by declining sales and high costs of production have led to threatening the company’s existence and closure of some of its subsidiaries. One such subsidiary that has been affected is the Australian auto plants which are set to be closed down by October 2016. Production and sale of the unsafe and the decision to rush innovations such as the Ford Pinto is therefore a major ethical dilemma, since, on one hand, it benefitted to the company by awarding it with huge profit margins and record sales. The model also created many jobs and income to the dealers, retailers, distributers as well as hundreds of other indirect beneficiaries. On the other hand, the decision to rush the model to the market, despite having prior safety information, has cost the company a lot in terms of damaging the company’s image, declining sales, losses, and various law suits. This has led to closure of some of its branches that were affected by the negative publicity such as the Australian auto plant.

Part 3

Wounded Warrior Project

The decision by the Wounded Warrior Project Committee to reject the donation from the church and the student’s community was immoral. Moral responsibility includes making a decision that is acceptable by the society and one that does not create conflicts to the majority of the stakeholders. Morally responsible decisions should also be praised and accepted by the organization’s stakeholders and should not cause harm or discomfort. The decision to refuse the donation caused a lot of discomfort, especially to the church members who felt that the organization was discriminating against them, because they belonged to the Christian religion. Wounded soldiers who are the main beneficiaries of the project and profess the Christian faith also stopped refusing more help from the project. They criticized the project’s management of discrimination against Christians, since the intention of the donating the money was to help the soldiers who were in need. The school children were also disappointed, since they could not understand the reason why they could not donate towards the noble course. The ethical dilemma was created by the organization itself through the creation of policies that preventedsome groups of people from participating in the organization’s activities. The organization’s policies should be flexible and should only act as guidelines to allow the management to make conscious decisions depending on the situation. The company should also advice donors in advance and enlighten them on the organization’s policies to avoid inconveniences and disappointments, such as the one witnessed by the church congregation who were already prepared to give the donation. The committee should therefore take responsibility for the lost trust and reassure the donors of their willingness to facilitate collection of donations towards helping the wounded warriors. They should also set policies that do not appear to discriminate any social group, (Thompson, 2010).

Ford Motor Company

The decision by Ford Motor Company to release Ford Pinto model into the market, even after receiving prior safety warning, was morally irresponsible. This decision led to the loss of more than 500 people, trauma and disfigurement of many individuala, including children from different countries, as a result of this car model explosion. Moral responsibility includes making a decision that is acceptable by the society and one that does not create conflicts to the majority of the stakeholders. Morally responsible decisions should also be praised and accepted by the organization’s stakeholders and should not cause harm or discomfort.  This ethical dilemma also led to the damage of the company’s image, as various customers withdrew their loyalty from the company. This has affected the company’s profits, as sales decreased leading to the closure of some of the company’s subsidiaries, such as the Australian branch, which was badly affected by the negative image. Moral decisions should also be praised by the general public. However, the decision by ford motor company to sell Ford Pinto was highly criticized by various business magazines with the Ford Pinto being listed among the worst cars in the history. This ethical dilemma was not created by the company but was as a result of economic pressure as well as pressure from the competitors. The company needed to create and sell new models of the cars in order to remain relevant and competitive in the market. However, the company should take responsibility for damage and loss that resulted from their decision. The company should also correct the system of the pinto model to avoid any further damage. It should also not ignore any safety warnings in future, as the cost of correcting the damages is much higher than the cost of preventing them.

Part 4

Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded warrior Project’s management applies the philosophy theory of moral relativism. Moral relativism is a philosophical theory stating that people disagree about what is moral due to differences in their religious or cultural backgrounds. The theory also argues that the terms “good”, “bad”, “right” or “wrong” are subject to the various perspectives based on the observer’s traditions, beliefs, or culture of their background group. The theory further proposes that individuals should tolerate the behavior of other individuals, though it does not meet their expectations and contradicts with their cultural and moral standards. However, this theory creates a lot of conflicts in the organizations, as it does not suggest how the individuals can form a universally acceptable code of conduct that is generally acceptable by the people from different backgrounds rather than tolerate each other. The company should instead apply the philosophical theory of virtue ethics which emphasizes on the application of virtues such as wisdom, love, courage, and justice when making any decisions. The committee of the wounded warrior project should apply these virtues when formulating the organization’s policies to ensure that they are just to all participants. The committee should also apply wisdom when making individual decisions and communicating with the external stakeholders, such as donors, by giving them better explanations that do not appear to be discriminating against a group.  The organization should also strive to make decisions that maximizes happiness and reduces suffering. This means that the committee should make decisions that benefit to most of the stakeholders unlike their current policies that seem to discriminate against some groups, namely religious ones, and also which led to the withdrawal of many willing donors. The theory of utilitarianism is one that would benefit to the organization in the best way, as it will enable the management to make decisions that please most of its stakeholders, (McCarthy, 2012)

Ford Motor Company

This company applies the philosophy theory of egotism, as its decision to hurriedly introduce the Ford Pinto into the market was self centered and did not consider the welfare and safety of the consumers. The company had an exaggerated sense of self–importance, and even with the early safety warnings it decided to introduce the car into the market in order to gain financial benefits and competitiveness in the market.  After calculating the cost benefit analysis of recalling and remodeling the engine system, the company decided in its favor not to redesign the poorly made engine. This shows that the company’s management was only considering the welfare of the company to make profits and did not consider the safety hazard that the engine system posed to the final users. The company should instead apply the theory of virtue ethics that considers the welfare of all the stakeholders in making its decisions. This theory should guide the company’s committee to make decisions that respect the welfare of all its stakeholders such as the safety of consumers who use the vehicles. The company should also apply the theory of utilitarianism that will ensure that the company’s decisions maximize happiness and reduce suffering. If applied, this theory would have enabled the company to prevent the unnecessary deaths of the people. It would also have ensured that the decision made promoted the image of the company and, therefore, increased its revenues and profits. The damage of the companies profile would also have been avoided, and the customers will be satisfied and happy to be associated with the company and, therefore, retain their loyalty, (Sims, 2003).

Conclusion

Ethical dilemma is a situation whereby decision makers are faced with two possible alternatives. The decision made should be morally right, and the decision makers should also take responsibility for their decisions. Some of the philosophical theories that can be applied to the decision making process include deontology, utilitarianism, egoism, virtue ethics, and moral relativism depending on the the type of the stakeholders of an organization.

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