UMUC BMGT496 case 1

Case Memos #1
In this assignment, students will read and analyze a case study.
In response to the case study, students will write an analysis in business memo
format, addressed to the Board of Directors for the company. The memo is
written by the student acting as a hired consultant for the company.
The case study to be analyzed, The Case of Nutritional Foods,
is attached.
By completing this assignment, students will meet the outcome(s):
identify ethical issues that
arise in domestic and global business environments using an understanding
of ethical concepts and of legal and business principles;develop and evaluate
alternatives to, and recommend solutions for, ethical dilemmas, taking
into account ethical and legal requirements and the essential mission of
the business enterpriseeffectively communicate to
internal and external business stakeholders the complexities of ethical
issues, suggesting and analyzing various solutions in order to ensure
appropriate business practices and accountability
Requirements of Case Memo #1:
Draft memo using the
prescribe format (subheadings/sections) prescribed below;All sections must be
comprehensive, in-depth and fully justified;Resources from previously
assigned course materials or from your own research may be used to justify
and support rationale;All in-text citations and
resources must be in APA style;Submit the completed case in
the Assignment Folder.make sure your discussion is
founded on principles in the articel A Framework for Thinking
Ethically [”>] and
also use the Student Toolbox found in Table of Contents.
Memorandum Format:

INTRODUCTION: Brief 1-paragraph intro to subject of
FACTS SUMMARY: Summarize and explain the facts that are directly
significant and relevant to the ethical dilemma in this case.
ETHICAL DILEMMA: Discuss the either/or ethical dilemma
facing the company.
ETHICAL ISSUE: Discuss the most significant ethical issue (there is more
than one, but choose one) related to, and arising from, the ethical dilemma and
then, explain the ethical issue and why it is an ethical/moral issue,
ALTERNATIVES: List, explain and
justify two (2) possible alternatives/solutions to address
and resolve the ethical dilemma and ethical issue discussed
above. Each alternative should be comprehensive so that it
addresses the related ethical issue.
Alternatives should be feasible, logical, directly related to resolving
the ethical dilemma and addressing the ethical issues in the case.
Alternatives are expressed in the form of propositions or prescriptive
statements suggesting action and are framed by asking the normative question,
what could or should the company do? Consider consequences. Identify
relevant stakeholders and the effects on them, pros and cons, etc. of each
alternative. Apply ethical theories in context of your evaluations, but do not
overdo this aspect. For example, teleological or consequentialist
theorists would examine who the stakeholders are, both internal and external to
the company, and the positive and negative consequences for each stakeholder
group, etc.
RECOMMENDATION: Recommend one and only one (1)
alternative from the two (2) alternatives suggested above. Justify
and explain your choice discussing:
why you chose this
alternativehow, specifically, the
recommendation will address the ethical dilemma and ethical issueshow the recommendation will
likely impact relevant stakeholderspros and cons of
recommendationfeasibility of
recommendationhow the recommendation will
be implementedApply ethical theories,
resources from previously assigned course materials, or resources from
your own research to justify and support your recommendation.
potential implications arising from recommendation for:
the companyother businesses within the
industryother industries
CONCLUSION: Summarize the case and its ethical issues,
implications, etc.
Case Memo 1 Case
The Case of Nutritional Foods

First Warnings
Fred James, chief executive of Nutritional Foods Inc., a $50 million
manufacturer of healthful foods, listened with concern as John Healy, his vice
president for production, described reports that had come in during the past
The reports came from two county health departments, one in Seattle and
the other in Southern California. In each case, the health department official
reported a possible link between acute food poisoning of a child and an
unpasteurized apple product produced by Nutritional Foods and distributed
throughout the Western United States. The health departments had not yet ruled
out all other possible causes. Additional information was not yet available,
and Healy did not have batch numbers for the products in question.
Nutritional Foods was rapidly becoming the best-known brand of natural
or non-pasteurized foods in the Western United States. It made its products in
two facilities, one in California’s Central Valley and the other in a coastal
city of Central California. Fresh fruit and vegetable products were shipped
from growing regions throughout the West to these two facilities for processing
and canning or bottling. The handling of non-pasteurized products was critical
as contamination could occur in picking, transporting, or processing the fresh
Distribution was also critical to the freshness and safety of the
company’s products. Daily distribution from the company’s processing facilities
in company-owned refrigerated trucks ensured freshness.
Unpasteurized products had been popular in the health-food market for
many years, but Nutritional Foods was the most successful of several companies
seeking to appeal to the mainstream market as well as to the niche consumer.
The company’s success had led to its rapid growth and the construction of its
new processing facility in the Central Valley.
“OK, John,” said James, “what’s our response? Do two
‘maybes’ mean we should do something immediately? We have had an occasional
report, perhaps one every couple of months, during the past two years. None of
those turned out to be traceable to our product. Do two reports represent
anything other than a statistical quirk? Should we be doing anything but
waiting for the final reports from the health departments in a couple of
Concern Deepens
Healy dispatched company managers to the two counties where initial
reports indicated there might be acute food poisonings related to one of the
company’s unpasteurized products. He was startled a short time later to receive
a third and fourth report similar to the first two.
Although also not conclusive, the new reports made Healy wonder if
something was terribly wrong. Healy immediately dispatched company managers to
the two new counties, urging all four to get the batch numbers of the products
in question. He also asked for an immediate meeting with James.
“Now what should we do?” asked Healy. “Should we warn the
retailers, asking them to stop selling the product? Should we also warn the
public? Such a move could devastate the company’s reputation and its stock
price at a critical moment. Don’t we have an obligation to think long and hard
before we take that step? How much certainty must we have and how serious does
a problem have to be for us to proceed?”
Time to Act?
Healy was deeply troubled when he heard from his managers that health
officials in the four counties they visited were virtually certain Nutritional
Foods’ product was indeed involved in the food poisonings. All the batch
numbers, however, were not available. The two cases where company managers
could get batch numbers were from a single day’s production.
Healy was further troubled that three additional reports of possible
food poisonings had come in by the end of the workday, though two were relayed
by newspaper reporters. Each was checking claims by consumers that one of
Nutritional Foods’ products had made them sick. One of the reports involved a
different company’s products.
Healy also heard late in the afternoon from one of his children who had
read in an Internet nutritional chat room that Nutritional Foods had a
poisoning problem. Had the time come, Healy wondered, for more dramatic action?
If so, what action should he take?
At 7 p.m., Nutritional Foods announced publicly and through its retail
network that it was pulling all batches of the unpasteurized product associated
with all but one of the alleged poisoning incidents. Once the news hit the wire
services, 50 more calls cascaded into company headquarters late that night and
early the next morning. Most were from consumers alleging they, too, had been
poisoned by the company’s products. Five more were reports from health
professionals who stated they were treating possible poisonings.
At 9 a.m. the next morning, James convened a meeting of his Crisis
Action Committee, an ad hoc group of managers that had been formed a few months
earlier for just such a crisis. “Let me put several questions before the
group,” said James. “Are we doing enough by conducting a recall for
the specific product in question, publicly asking consumers to return all
unused products to their local retailer, and asking retailers to stop selling
and return all of their supply to us? The press has done a pretty good job
getting the word out. It’s on the front page of perhaps 80 percent of the daily
newspapers in our distribution area this morning.
“Should we do more to notify customers? Should we consider pulling
all our products? The calls this morning allege adverse reactions from many
different products.
“And what should be our strategy toward those who have been made
sick by our product? If we show concern, isn’t there a risk we will look like
we are admitting liability? Finally, what should we do about the sickest of
those affected? Two children are reported this morning to be in critical
By”>Kirk O. Hanson, Markkula Center for Applied

Case Memo #1 Grading Rubric (15%)











Critical thinking/reasoning

demonstrates a high degree of critical thinking, is consistent in
accurately interpreting questions & material; provides solid assumptions,
reasoning & claims; thorough analysis & evaluation with sound

shows good critical thinking; accurately interprets most questions
& material; usually identifies relevant arguments/reasoning/claims;
offers good analysis & evaluation with fairly sound conclusions

shows occasional critical thinking; questions & material is at
times accurately interpreted; arguments/reasoning/claims are occasionally
explained; offers fair analysis & evaluation with a conclusion

shows little critical thinking, misinterprets questions or material;
ignores or superficially evaluates; justifies little and seldom explains
reasoning; draws unwarranted conclusions

lacks critical thinking consistently offers biased interpretations;
ignores or superficially evaluates; argues using poor reasoning, and/or
unwarranted claims






Application of concepts/development

arguments or positions are
well-supported with evidence from the readings/experience; ideas go beyond
the course material and recognize implication and extensions of the material
and concepts

arguments or positions are mostly
supported by evidence from the readings and course content; ideas presented
demonstrate student’s understanding of the material and concepts

arguments are more often based on
opinion or unclear views than on position grounded in the readings of
material or external sources of material

arguments are frequently illogical
and unsubstantiated; student may resort to ad hominem attacks on the author
instead of making meaningful application of the material

a meaningful attempt to explain or support ideas does not exist






Attention to instructions

demonstrated full understanding of requirements responded to each
aspect of assignment

demonstrated understanding of requirements; missed one minor aspect of

demonstrated some understanding of requirements; missed a key element
or two minor aspects of assignment

failed to show a firm understanding of requirements; missed two key
elements or several minor aspects of assignment

did not demonstrate understanding of assignment requirements






Clarity, including grammar

writing is clear and easy to follow;
grammar and spelling are all correct; formatting gives a professional
look and adds to readability

most ideas are presented clearly;
occasional spelling and/or grammar issues

wordy; some points require rereading
to understand fully; more than an occasional spelling and/or grammar

unclear and difficult to understand;
frequent spelling and grammar issues

largely incomprehensible
writing/poorly written in terms of mechanics and structure






Adherence to APA style (6th ed.)

no APA style errors

attempts in-text citation and
reference list but 1 or 2 APA style errors are present

attempts in-text citation and
reference listing; APA style errors are present: inconsistencies in citation
usage can be found throughout the document

attempts either in-text citation or
reference list but omits the other

no attempt at APA style

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