3 Approaches to Ethical Decision Making and My Ford Pinto


Since my very first automobile had been a Ford Pinto, i’ve been interested in the Ford Pinto explosions that have been caused by a defective gas tank design provides an appealing case study into methods to honest decision-making. There are three feasible methods to make when creating honest decisions; a consequentialist method, a deontological method and a psychological method. In a consequentialist method, your choice manufacturer would base their decision by focusing attention in the consequences of these activity (Trevino and Nelson, 2005, p. 89). In deontological method, your choice manufacturer would base their decision by centering on what’s right or wrong according to typical values and liberties of people and/or groups (p. 91). A determination manufacturer basing their activity on a psychological method can vary greatly their activities on the basis of the amount of their cognitive ethical development (p. 115).

In Ford Pinto situation, someone who took a consequentialist method can potentially actually choose which Ford did and produce the car despite the potential for obtaining the gas tank explode on reasonable speed rear-end collisions. Additionally, they would probably accept Ford that the automobile did not need to be recalled once it was on the market. A determination manufacturer utilising the consequentialist method would consider the consequences for the largest amount of specific and groups possible and make their decision according to doing the smallest amount of harm additionally the many level of good to all. Because the information should there were no further accidents using the Pinto than along with other cars additionally the companies stakeholders would considerably reap the benefits of maintaining the expense reasonable and bringing the car to market as quickly as possible; they quickly could have decided that the many benefit would come from going forward using the design since there would be many who benefit and probably only just what current criteria permitted could be harmed.

Having said that, a choice manufacturer utilising the deontological method would quickly decided not to proceed with production and/or to remember the car once it was on the market. Since this individual would base their decision on some ethical values and/or the liberties of people, they would probably argue that the car should not be created unless the liberties of the minority group who be harmed might be guaranteed.

The outcome of a choice of a person after a psychological method would differ dependent on their amount of cognitive ethical development (p. 115). If for example, they certainly were at a preconventional amount they probably might have consented to move ahead using the sale of the Pinto and/or not to remember it through the market simply because they would have been extremely influenced by other individuals within the company. They might have feared punishment from management or they would have wished that by supporting the vast majority opinion which they would have been compensated one way or another. Even if the individual was at the conventional amount they could however n’t have made a decision to renovate the Pinto’s tank. While trying for “good behavior” they would were extremely influenced by nearly all decision makers within the company rather than gone against their might. In addition they might have used the “letter of the law” which supported the truth of maybe not needing to make a big change on design. As long as they had a highly created postconventional or principled amount of ethical development would they have believed the requirement to opposed to the trend within the company in order to support the liberties of the minority “regardless of the vast majority opinion (p. 115).

In addition, we survived my 1974 Ford Pinto! Thank heavens I becamen’t rear-ended!


Trevino, L., and Nelson, K., (2005). Business personal obligation and managerial ethics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


Supply by James Gehrke

Author: LocalInternetMarketingGroup

I've been working online business since 1997 and building Local Internet Marketing Group company since 2010 that recommends products, services and training to business owners helping them to succide on the local online world.

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