Coca Cola's Ethical Dilema in Belgium

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Introduction: Business ethics are the core fundamentals of a business and are extremely important for organizations smooth and successful operation. It can have either positive impact by operating ethically or negative impact if they are caught up in any unethical situation or dilemma. Ethics has been defined as “study and philosophy of human conduct with an emphasis in determining the right and wrong” (Ferrell et.al, 2010). This case study will analyze Coca Cola for the ethical dilemmas they were involved in Belgium, and how the company responded to the issues. Ethical Dilemma: The major ethical issue face by Coca Cola in recent year was concerning sale of hazardous product which affected the health of few consumers including school children. This incident took place in Belgium where Coca Cola beverages found themselves in middle of an accusation of selling poorly processed batch of carbonated drinks which made initially 10 people ill and later the number swelled to 100 which also included school children. This was a contamination scare incident that took place in June 1999. This damaged Coca Cola customer base harming their confidence in the product as it was relating to the production and sale of hazardous product. Two main problems that were identified by the company relating to their production and distribution were ‘‘Off-quality’’ carbon dioxide that affected the taste and odor of some bottled drinks, and an offensive unusual odor on the outside of some canned drinks which were later identified as sulphur odor. This odor has an increasing intensity when the cans were placed in vending machines to sell. This incident really took a troll on the companies brand image their customer’s confidence in the brand and the companies’ ... ... middle of paper ... ...Stakeholders • Director of Public Health for Coca Cola • Head of Health Intelligence and Information • Public Health Strategists • Public Health Management Analyst • Director of Programs and Services • Research Scientist • Communications • Board committee members • Local Authority/council • Patients • Service users • Customers • Suppliers • Funders • Quality assessors • Special interest groups • Wider public health workforce • Media This Coca Cola malfunction incident demonstrates that if attention is not paid to the ethical operation or the company it could challenge and threaten a company’s short and long term performance. This could have long lasting affects on the companies operations and requires strategic decisions to restore company’s image in the eyes of the customers. Gaining the trust of customers takes long time but it is broken with one small incident.

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