Expired expiry date

We have a free point in the statement of the problem. We do not know if the product really has expired or it is an error in the packaging expiry date. This uncertainty generates two different problems that they appear to have different result in the ethic behavior analysis.

1)      Error in the expiry date

Applying the expanded model of ethical judgment making, we have:

Data gathering and analysis [1]:


So, under the four ethical theories this case does not represent an ethical issue.


2)      Expiry product

Applying the expanded model of ethical judgment making (with the definition described above), we have:

Data gathering and analysis:


So, under the four ethical theories this case represents an unethical issue and the amount of boxes does not represent an extenuating.


PCC value chain model

The PCC value chain is very broad and it provides to PCC of many stakeholders; some of the PCC stakeholders are: suppliers (e.g.: electricity, natural gas, fuels, machinery, fertilizer, telephone, internet providers), employees (e.g.: farms, warehouse, factory, transportation), investors, retailers, customers, outsourcing companies (e.g.: transportation people (trucks, train), warehouse, retailers), local communities (e.g.: where the factory, warehouses, farms are located), governments (municipal, provincial, federal).

The impact of any unethical behaviour practiced by managers of PCC will have different impact in the PCC business in dependence of the link in the PCC value chain that it could be affected. All unethical behaviour related with the final product could have a higher effect in the PCC business. The PCC value chain could be seeing as a funnel, many inputs with a dominant output, the chips. If the output is affected, the damage could be higher (such as plug in the funnel), but is one of the input is affected, probably it could be easier to decrease the impact in the PCC business. We could think in many examples showing this difference, I will mention two cases to show the different effect in the PCC business and stakeholders:

This case does not affect the whole PCC business but a group of stakeholders.


PCC stance

We could see the stance spectrum definition on page 93 of our referred book.

For the case where the problem is only with the stamped expiry date but not with the product, the PCC manager behaviour matches between Defensive and Accommodative Stances. This event looks not to be an ethic problem and there is not risk to the public.

For the case where the product is expired, PCC break regulations and does not any effort so fix social problems. This case matches with Obstructionist stance.

My recommendations to PCC are not black or white, the recommended baseline is Defensive stance, but in dependence of many factors it would be increase it to Accommodative stance or Proactive stance. These factors are based in the analysis of cost-benefit for PCC in a global, multi-stage and multi-temporal point of view. This means to find the optimal point of work taking into consideration all possible and measurable/estimable factors.




[1] Andrews G., Canadian Professional Engineering and Geocience: Practice and Ethics, Thomson Nelson, 2005 398 pp.

[2] Wikipedia. (n.d.) Sodium sulfate. Retrieved January 23, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_sulfate

[3] Samuel, B. et al, Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience, Person Prentice Hall, 2007, 364 pp.



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