This post is a comment on Francis Ching’s blog post: “The Chair Exploded…”
The original post can be found on http://blogs.ubc.ca/francisching/
In COMM101, a frequent topic discussed was business ethics. Successful businesses are often those who profit while contributing social benefit to society, for example, Lululemon which offers free yoga classes. If a business produces products that consumer cannot even trust or the quality of these products can cause harm to its consumers, it is a surprise if the business can even sustain.
I nearly jumped out of my chair when I read through Francis Ching’s post on the chair that exploded in China and nearly killed a young girl the age of 24. How can anyone possibly imagine that one minute you are sitting comfortably drying your hair while the next, you are sent to hospital, blood all over the place and several doctors trying to remove steel pieces from your body in order to rescue your life!
Having no bias against products produced in China, as it is understandable that competition is especially high as firms face a range competitors and indeed many of the items we use daily are produced in China due to its relatively cheaper labor costs, it is still a major ethical issue present in today’s Chinese businesses when they face a tradeoff between quality and quantity as well as between safety and profitability.
To this point I must agree with Francis that the government should at least outline higher safety standards and more strict supervision on business operations. Otherwise, competition will only drive more businesses to head the wrong route and as consumers, then they really need to watch where they sit, especially when this is not the first time it has happened.