National Semiconductor Case


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national semiconductor case Business Ethics



[Category]:

Business

[Paper Title]:

 

[Text]:

Business Ethics

 

 

>From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be a
very lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of orders keep coming in,
revenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate. The obvious downfalls
to working in this manner is both higher quality expected as well as the
extensive research and documentation required for government

contracts. If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minor glitches
as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions, such as in the
National Semiconductor case. When both the culpable component and company are
found, the question arises of how extensive these

repercussions should be. Is the company as an entity liable or do you look
into individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspective one
would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees and their
superiors along with the role of others in the failure of these components. Next
you would have to analyze the final ruling from a corporate perspective and then
we must examine the macro issue of corporate responsibility in order to attempt
to find a resolution for cases like these.

 

 

The first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductor case is
the uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on the duties that they were
assigned. It is plausible that during the testing procedure, an employee couldnt
distinguish which parts they were to test under government standards and
commercial standards. In some cases they might have even been misinformed on the
final consumers of the products that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the part
of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral responsibility for any
damage that may result from their work. Whether it is decided that an employees
is fully excused, or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked
at on an individual basis.

 

 

The second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that an employee might
suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment. After the bogus
testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labs, the documentation
department also had to falsify documents stating that

the parts had surpassed the governmental testing standards. From a legal and
ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reports were merely
acting as agents on direct orders from a superior. This was also the case when
the plant in Singapore refused to falsify the documents

and were later falsified by the employees at the have California plant before
being submitted to the approval committees (Velazquez, 53). The writers of the
reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted in this manner on the
instruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethical

manner becomes a secondary priority in this type of environment. As stated by
Alan Reder, . . . if they [the employees] feel they will suffer retribution, if
they report a problem, they arent too likely to open their mouths. (113). The
workers knew that if the reports were not falsified

they would come under questioning and perhaps their employment would go into
jeopardy. Although working under these conditions does not fully excuse an
employees from moral fault, it does start the divulging process for determining
the order of the chain of command of superiors and it helps to narrow down the
person or department that issued the original request for the unethical acts.

 

 

The third mitigating factor is one that perhaps encompasses the majority of
the employees in the National Semiconductor case. We have to balance the direct
involvement that each employee had with the defective parts. Thus, it has to be
made clear that many of the employees did not

have a direct duty with the testing departments or with the parts that
eventually failed. Even employees, or sub-contractors, that were directly
involved with the production were not aware of the incompetence on the part of
the testing department. For example, the electrical engineer that

designed the defective computer chip could act in good faith that it would be
tested to ensure that it did indeed meet the required government endurance
tests. Also, for the employees that handled the part after the testing process,
they were dealing with what they believed to be a component that met every
governmental standard. If it was not tested properly, and did eventually fail,
isnt the testing department more morally responsible than the designer or the
assembly line worker that was in charge of installing the chip? Plus, in large
corporations there may be several testing departments and is some cases ... more

national semiconductor case

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Company Insights on BP





Company Insights on BP, Microsoft, and Western Digital:  On August 30,
we all chose 5 stocks to evaluate before purchasing. At this time I chose BP
AMOCO, Microsoft, Western Digital, Toys-R-Us, and Fortune Financial
Incorporated. After a few weeks of tracking these stocks, I chose to keep BP
AMOCO, Microsoft, and Western Digital, because the stocks were relatively stable
and most of them were on the rise at this time.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

[Category]:
Business
[Paper Title]:
Company Insights on BP, Microsoft, and Western Digital
[Text]:
On August 30, we all chose 5 stocks to evaluate before purchasing. At this
time I chose BP AMOCO, Microsoft, Western Digital, Toys-R-Us, and Fortune
Financial Incorporated. After a few weeks of tracking these stocks, I chose to
keep BP AMOCO, Microsoft, and Western Digital, because the stocks were
relatively stable and most of them were on the rise at this time.
As you are aware, we were given $30,000.00 to invest in our three chosen
stocks, which breaks down to $10,000.00 per stock. We also had to include a
brokers fee of $500.00 for every $10,000.00 invested.
My first stock was BP AMOCO. On September 8, I purchased 167 shares at $57.06
per share, which totaled $9,523.00 and incurred a $476.15 brokers fee, making
the grand total spent $9,999.15.
BP is one of Britains biggest companies and one of the worlds largest
oil and petrochemical groups. Its origin dates back to May 1901.
BP owes its origin to one man, William Knox DArcy, a wealthy Englishman,
who obtained concession from the Muz-affaru'd-Din, Shah of Persia (1896-1907) to
explore and exploit the oil resources of the country, excluding the five
northern providences that bordered Russia. He, shortly after the turn of the
century, invested time, money and labor in the belief that worthwhile deposits
of oil could be found in Persia, which is now known as Iran. Having been granted
the concession; DArcy employed an engineer, George Reynolds, to undertake the
task of exploring for oil in Persia.
For seven years, Mr. D'Arcy battled with severe weather, the absence of a
developed infrastructure, the shortage of skilled local labor, the problems of
dealing with neighboring tribes in the absence of a strong central government,
difficult terrain, and an uncertain political situation. These conditions made
Reynolds pioneering task an exceptionally difficult venture. Meanwhile, the
costs mounted stretching DArcys resources to the point where e sought
outside financial assistance. This came in 1905 from the Burmah Oil Company,
which provided new funds for his venture.
More exploration in Persia followed without success, until eventually, in May
of 1908, Reynolds and his helpers struck oil in commercial quantities at
Masjid-i-Suleiman in southwest Persia. It was the first commercial oil discovery
in the Middle East, signaling the emergence of that region as an oil producing
area.
After the discovery had been made, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed
in 1909 to develop the oilfield and work the concessions. At the top of
Anglo-Persians formation, Burmah Oil Company owned 97 percent of its ordinary
shares. Lord Strathcona, the companys first chairman, owned the rest.
Although D'Arcy was appointed a director and remained on the board until his
death in 1917, he was not to play a major part in the new company's affairs. His
role as the initial risk-taking investor was past and the daunting task of
developing the oil discovery into a commercial enterprise shifted to others,
amongst whom one stands out: Charles (later Sir Charles, then Lord) Greenway.
Greenway was one of Anglo-Persian's founder-directors, becoming managing
director in 1910 and chairman, after Strathcona, in 1914.
Greenway, anxious to avoid falling under the domination of Royal Dutch-Shell,
also turned to another potential source of revenue and capital: the British
government. The basis of an agreement to mutual advantage lay in Greenway's
desire to find new capital and an outlet for Anglo-Persian's fuel oil; and, on
the government's part, in the desire by the Admiralty (then headed by Winston
Churchill as First Lord) to obtain secure supplies of fuel oil, which had
advantages over coal as a fuel, for the ships of the Royal Navy.
After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached in 1914 shortly before
the outbreak of World War I. Anglo-Persian contracted to supply the Admiralty
with fuel oil and the government injected $2 million of new capital into the
company, receiving in return a majority shareholding and the right to appoint
two directors to Anglo-Persian's board.
Although the government undertook not to interfere in Anglo-Persian's normal
commercial operations, its shareholding introduced an unusual political
dimension to the company's affairs. In later years, the government shareholding
was reduced and ... more

national semiconductor case

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