The issues found within the Kardell Paper Co. (KPC) case can be regarded as a fairly indicative example of a real-life situation, and representative of an ethical decision a company must face in the midst of ordinary operations. Changing societal values demand that KPC look at stakeholder relationships and moral standards, rather than the more 'traditional' perspective of providing value solely to shareholders.
By integrating a 'stakeholder-centric' perspective into their decision-making framework, KPC is ensuring that the currently precarious social contract that exists between themselves and society at large is maintained, and possibly enhanced. Furthermore, KPC has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure their actions are fully transparent and accountable to the laws, regulations and expectations of society, as well as providing assurance to shareholders in matters pertaining to the integrity of the firm's financial performance.
By defining a stakeholder as 'any individual or group who is affected, or can be affected, or has something at risk or can influence, as a result of objectives and decisions of the firm', we begin our discussion by identifying and prioritizing stakeholder interest as to provide a platform upon which the major issues of the case can be resolved, and a decision ultimately reached.
Such a decision will be based on adopting a reputation management 'stakeholder impact analysis' approach and other decision-making strategies, with an aim towards arriving at a defensible ethical decision. We then consider KPC's options against a matrix of stakeholder expectations, and assess the risks of failing to meet their expectations, and opportunities to exceed the.
First and foremost, a review must be undertaken to identify and assess the prevailing ethical practices of the firm. It is immediately apparent that the firm is deficient in this regard; they failed to undertake a scientifically appropriate environmental audit themselves;...