Student Writing – 1

Celebrating Student Writing

Linda Milano*

When companies recall products due to the potential dangers they pose to public safety, customers normally expect them to take full responsibility and be completely transparent. However, how a company that is in trouble in the aftermath of a product recall should respond to mistakes it made is a rather complex and multifaceted matter. From the perspective of the general public, all that a company needs to do is to take responsibility immediately and effectively work toward fixing the problem and its consequences, ensuring the society that the same mistakes will not be repeated. But there are a lot of other factors that a company must consider in order to maintain the public’s trust, and those matters may influence consumer perception by making them more aware of the complicated situation that a firm is faced with in the wake of a product recall.

Despite the many ethical dilemmas and public relations challenges that a firm may be presented with when it recalls a product, if it demonstrates proper handling of the complex problems surrounding the recall, it has the potential to correct its issues without tarnishing the brand and still maintain a positive perception of the company in the minds of consumers. In order to do this, it is essential that a company is transparent and responsive to the crisis. A “transparent” company is one that informs consumers of its actions, even in times of crisis, while a “responsive” company is one that acknowledges consumers’ concerns immediately and implements an action plan to address them. Although adopting these ideals may seem obvious steps for a firm to take when addressing a product recall, doing so in an ethical way that appeals to a consumer’s expectations is an intricate process.

*Linda is a Writing Minor

Context of the excerpt above provided by the writer: 
"This is an excerpt that illustrates the major argument of my honors business thesis which explored the complex dilemmas and ethical consequences of product recall by examining the cases of Johnson & Johnson’s product recalls in 1982 and 2010." 

In this column, we will include brief excerpts of student writing (submitted by students, with permission). If you’d like your writing to be featured on this writing teachers’ blog, you can submit it via this convenient form.


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