Safety Standards in Product Design Goals of Ethical Companies
Safety regulatory measures and policies are often considered basic tenets and requirements in product design that ethical organizations put into place to ensure that their products comply with the stated standards. As consumers increasingly turn out to be dependent on engineered products, the element of product safety and liability has turned out to be of global significance. As imbued in several companies, the ethicality of product safety and accountability is addressed by considering global trade standards and practices. The scope of product design as highlighted in design research and practice has successively changed – from a focus on material aspects to a focus on the intangible, from functions to pleasure, from goods to services and values
In this regard, organizations need to ensure that they prioritize the adherence to these measures and requirements by ensuring that their products meet the enshrined safety standards (Langerman, 2015). Meeting the established safety precautions or standards remains an essential aspect of product design; however, it is insufficient. Familiarity with the foundations and principles of the utilitarian model of ethics reveals that to underscore an action as ethical requires one to determine whether an action maximizes the highest level of positive outcomes for several people while on the other hand minimizing all the adverse outcomes to the least number.
As provided in this case, ensuring that an organization’s product meets the established safety standards may yield the highest favorable outcomes for consumers and minimize the negative repercussions that may pose a threat to the lives of the consumers. According to Langerman (2015), ethical organizations before engaging in launching their products often ensure that pilot tests are conducted several to ensure that they meet the prescribed safety and precautionary measures. However, it is essential to establish that it is often challenging for firms to conduct a 360-degree inquiry or research on their products.
Therefore, this creates the rationale behind faulty products, posing a need for an organization to ensure that products meet and satisfy the needs of the customers (Langerman, 2015).Arguably, meeting safety measures may not be sufficient in product design. Product safety professionals in light of this hold on to more profound convictions regarding the importance of ensuring that the consumers and their companies are provided with the best efforts that support the design, manufacturing, and distribution of products considered safe for consumption.
Specific Stories that would make Doug’s Presentation Interesting: Doug, as provided in this case, may consider including the case of Ford in ensuring that his presentation is appealing or attractive. As provided in Ford’s current operations and planning, it is established that the organization sort after measures driven towards launching their lightweight automobile that was incredibly affordable in price for the consumers. The company president provided specifications that the designers were required to adhere to in the unit’s production.
In other words, the production unit needed to have ensured that the Pinto weighed 2000 pounds and would cost consumers close to $2000 and other related expenses such as advertisements. However, this unit’s production was met with a flaw following the lack of compliance with the federal safety standards established for the production of such a model (Tidwell, 2000). One of the significant problems that were sighted was in regards to the fuel tank that was prone to rapturing when the car was at maximum speed. This occurred following an investigation that occurred after a dreadful accident that left six occupants in the vehicle dead after the rapturing and explosion of the fuel tank.
Doug would resort to the application of the principle of universalism. According to this principle, the authority of an ethical standard is mainly determined by the level in which a concern or an act treats people, supporting the claim that moral principles often hold for all people and not merely for a section of individuals (Tidwell, 2000). From the tests conducted on this automobile, it was later evident that Ford was in full awareness that its vehicle’s gasoline tank was faulty and prone to explode when the cars were at top speed or its rear collided.
Given this, the company failed to recall these units to correct the situation and was unable to warn the consumers on the effects of the car. Therefore, it reveals that safety measures and standards are ethically vital in organizations, establishing the essence of compliance.
Product Design Goals of Ethical Companies: Likely Possibilities from the Case
As provided in the case above, there are several likelihoods regarding the safety standards of ethical companies’ product design goals. Firstly, ethical organizations may resort to ensuring that their ethical practices are connected to their corporate social responsibilities. Therefore, this establishes that ethical organizations owe their customers, employees, the community, and their shareholders’ safety. These remain fundamental in the fulfillment of their corporate obligations and sustainability.
Utilitarianism provides a straightforward approach that organizations may use to arrive at moral decisions that weigh the cause of their actions in specific situations (Tidwell, 2000). To determine what organizations need to do in cases, such as that of Ford, there is a need first to underpin the courses of their actions. Secondly, organizations may need to determine the foreseeable benefits and consequences of each of their actions for the highest number of people affected.
Lastly, firms may resort to the choice of actions that may provide the greatest of all benefits after taking consideration of the involved costs. In a nutshell, the ethicality of product safety and accountability is addressed by considering global trade standards and practices that guide and provide frameworks that organizations need to follow.
Eryılmaz, E. (2016). Applied Ethics: The Secular and Utilitarian Approach. Turkish Journal of Business Ethics, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.12711/tjbe.2016.9.0011r
Langerman, N. (2015). Safety and ethics. Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, 22(3), 44–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchas.2015.04.005
Tidwell, A. (2000). Ethics, Safety, and Managers. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 19(3), 161–180. https://doi.org/10.5840/bpej2000193/43
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