As a brand manager at a large food manufacturer, you’re positioning a new product for entry into the highly competitive snack food market. This product is low in fat and calories, and it should be unusually successful, especially against the rapidly growing pretzel market. You know that one of your leading competitors is preparing
to launch a similar product at about the same time. Since market research suggests that the two products will be perceived as identical, the first product to be released should gain significant market share.
A research report from a small, independent lab—Green Lab—indicates that your product causes dizziness in a small group of individuals. Green has an impressive reputation, and its research has always been reliable in the past. However, the research reports from two other independent labs don’t support Green’s conclusion.
Your director of research assures you that any claims of adverse effects are unfounded and that the indication of dizziness is either extremely rare or the result of faulty research by Green Lab. Since your division has been losing revenue because of its emphasis on potato chips and other high-fat snack food, it desperately needs a low-fat moneymaker. You were brought in to turn the division around, so your career at the company could depend on the success of this product.
What are your alternatives? What is your obligation to consumers? Who are your other stakeholders, and what do you owe them? What is your obligation to your employer and to other employees at your company? What should your course of action be? How can you apply the due care theory to this case?
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