After careful analysis of the does this milkshake taste funny case, I believe that the managements social end ethical responsibilities chapter and the influence, power, and leadership chapter hold the solution to this problem. George Stein, a college student employed for the summer by Eastern Dairy is faced with an ethical dilemma. His co-workers don’t care about proper procedures required in ensuring that the milkshake produced during the shift is hygienic and safe for human consumption. The milkshake that is produced is usually delivered to fast-food restaurants and drive-ins. George had less than a minute to think about his choices and altruism and must decide if he is going to remove the filters from the plant’s piping and, thus, allow the current production run of milkshake mix to be contaminated with maggots or refuse to remove the filters, and report the maggot problem to management. This course of action will save the company money, at least in the short run, and allow George’s shift to go home on time. George was disturbed by the mental image of children drinking contaminated milkshakes as he weighed his ethical options. Although he does not have much empowerment, he can still do something in regards to this matter if he consults with Paul.
In this case, there are several instances of poor management including a lack of proper training, and accountability and adherence to manufacturing industry standards. A company as large as Eastern Dairy should have a manager on site and more than four employees on for the night shift, especially given how critical the night shift is in meeting production needs. Paul and George have different sets of values. Paul is worried about going home early and the cost impact to the company if product needs are not met for one night with his instrumental value. Paul’s decision to ignore the issues puts George in an extremely difficult situation. Paul should be worried about the issue and the fact that George could whistle blow and call the outside authorities upon the issue.
Another issue to note is the management in the corporation. All too often, employees have self serving motives and conflicts of interest that essentially stems from culture of the organization and how it operates. When George initially brings the issue to Paul, we learn quickly from Paul’s demeanor that he had encountered this problem in the past and had seen maggots several times. Paul could benefit from behavior modification to fix his normal actions when an issue like this one is brought up to his attention. Paul is essentially immune to the feeling that George experienced as he was headed home. George should have tried to influence Paul to clean the maggots and throw the 500 gallon mix away to assure the cleanliness of the batch even though he doesn’t have the power that Paul does. If the issue is thoroughly fixed, the boss should offer positive reinforcement to get them to keep making the right decision on what to do.
The lack of ethical culture that was instilled by Eastern Dairy’s management is such that the employees just care about clocking in and out and do not take pride in their work at all, they need corporate social responsibility. The fact that Paul is in a position to oversee the night shift in and of itself is a significant issue. Furthermore, the company culture did not instill the ethical values that are required to best serve customers. If they did, people like Paul would not be in a position to make decisions that adversely impact the company’s quality of work and reputation.
The third issue in this case involves ethical awareness and practical intelligence and how to instill that awareness in the workplace. It starts with strong leadership and a commitment to excellence by serving the best interests of your customers. It is a system that can not be understated. Most successful organizations have a strong ethical leadership team, that includes both formal leadership with official objectives set in place, and informal leadership with the goals that have not been set but are more unofficial and unsaid. The employees look up to this for guidance and also for direction.