Ethics in Workplace Case Study

Essay by rooster25University, Bachelor's October 2006

download word file, 10 pages 5.0

The Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Incident

In 1982 Johnson and Johnson, the pharmaceutical company that makes Tylenol announced a nationwide recall of Tylenol; 31 million bottles and a loss of 100 million dollars. This recall was secondary to the death of seven people in the Chicago area after using Tylenol. An investigation reveled the poisoning were found to be that of an outside source. The Tylenol was contaminated with cyanide from an outside source.

Johnson and Johnson's response to the poisonings was to face the public, take responsibility, and attempt to regain the marketplace. Johnson and Johnson began a massive campaign, doling out coupons, and redesigning the package to be tamper-resistant. Because Johnson and Johnson took a stance and vowed to not only protect the consumer but also to protect the employees and the shareholders Johnson and Johnson has been able to rebuild their reputation and had regained the majority of the marketplace by the mid-80.

(Nelson & Trevino, 2004)

Symptoms of the Problem

Johnson and Johnson took a financial hit when the tainted Tylenol was first discovered, and secondly when they decided to pull the Tylenol out of the marketplace. Before Johnson and Johnson could establish fault the company took a stance and removed the Tylenol therefore reducing the potentiality of another death. One of the problems that Johnson and Johnson faced was how to make products safe for the consumer without placing blame on the consumer, how to gain back consumer alliance's, and how to recover financially.

After the poisoning was found to be cyanide contaminated from an outside source Johnson and Johnson had no choice but to assume that certain people in society could not be trusted and there was no way to determine who these people were. Johnson and Johnson was in an ethical quandary. Should...