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H.B. Fuller in Honduras Case Study Analysis

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Case Study – H.B. Fuller in Honduras

1. Brief summary

The case considers the situation that involves H.B. Fullers, a multinational chemical corporation based in the US, which faces a number of social, legal as well as business challenges in Honduras a poor central American nation where one of the Fullers` products – a shoe glue “Resistol” is being widely used by children as a drug of their choice thus destroying their lives. The local Honduran government officials, media, various social organizations as well as a number of Fullers` own shareholders put pressure on the company to get involved in resolving the emerged crises. Fullers is faced with a real dilemma concerning which course of action to take that would be most effective and appropriate to their commitment to their shareholders, own business interests as well as their promises to positively contribute to their stakeholders and the local community where the company operates.    

2. List of the main stakeholders and their stakes

1) H.B.Fullers - revenue, reputation, job security for their responsible executives, internal contradiction of interests between the business goals and mission statement`s aspiration to care for the community

2) H.B.Fullers` shareholders – financial interests

3) Honduran government – national social crises, future of the nation

4) Honduran children/their families – their health, lives, future, family well being

5) Honduran customers of H.B. Fullers – risk of losing the product, its quality or increase in price

6) H.B. Fullers` competitors on the Honduran market - opportunity

3. Statement of the main ethical issues

The main ethical issue is a controversy which involves an involuntary causing of a local social crisis in Honduras due to certain toxic/hallucinogenic properties of one of the company`s products. Such situation poses a real dilemma in a decision making process as to which course of action to take in resolving the emerging crisis that has already taking a great toll on the social climate in one of H.B. Fullers` regional markets as well as beginning to pose a threat to the company`s business interests in terms of their reputation and revenue. Another words, although the present crisis was not caused by any intentional unethical actions of the company, it indirectly caused it and now they are directly involved in the situation due to the label name that the crisis received ‘Resistolero,’ after the name of the glue product ‘Resistol.’

4. Possible courses of action

a) If the company`s interests are not affected, ignore the social crisis in Honduras and let them deal with it on their own since the company didn`t intentionally cause it. Thus saving resources and the energy of the company to direct it to other projects.

b) Get involved to resolve the crisis but use it as a PR move to promote the company and to show how ethical the management is widely publicizing every step of their actions. Thus justifying the expanses on the crisis relief campaign in the eyes of the shareholders.



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