XYZ zippers has been existence since 1905– prior to the First World War. It has survived two world wars, a great depression, multiple recessions and the recent passing of its CEO, the grandson and the last living relative of the founder of the company. It has been a mainstay of its local community for over a hundred years and has contributed generously to the community, supporting education, arts and sports. Currently the company is struggling to stay afloat. There are several reasons for the decline. Some of the reasons can be controlled and others cannot. First, the company pays well above industry standard, a practice that has been in existence since its founding. This practice however has become unsustainable due to the rapidly diminishing revenue of the company. Secondly, some of the company’s operating costs such as waste disposal, water and utilities have begun to skyrocket due to the high cost of infrastructure improvements made in these areas recently by the local community. Finally, the company is facing falling sales numbers due to a recent recession, changing fashion tastes, and a substitute product (i.e., an improved fastener) and international trade. In addition, there is a decline in military spending and the company has been a major military contractor. There is a push among the shareholders to shutter the plant and sell off the remaining assets of the company. However, if the company does close it could potentially devastate the surrounding community as it is still the major employer in the area, employing 40% of the local workforce.
1) Who are the stakeholders of the company? What will the effects of closing the company be for those stakeholders? Does this possibly justify the closing the plant? (THIS COULD BE DONE IN A TABLE)
2) Is it ethical to close the plant? Consider the utilitarian mindset (i.e. an ends perspective), deontological (i.e. a rules perspective), or a Kantian perspective (i.e. a rights perspective)? Will the perspective influence whether it is ethical to close the plant?
3) What steps could the company take to lessen the social costs on the community? Why should the company do these steps?
4.) What are your perceptions of the assignment? What did you learn?