General Motors’ Failure to Consider Stakeholders

Business Question

Course Learning Outcomes-Covered



Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
MGT.M.3.2The capacity to write coherent project about a case study or an actual research about ethics

Assignment Instructions:

General Motors’ Failure to Consider Stakeholders

General Motors (GM) has struggled with its brands and its image. Over the years, it has jettisoned some of its once-popular brands, including Oldsmobile and Pontiac, sold many others, and climbed back from a 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization. The automaker was hiding an even bigger problem, however: The ignition switch in many of its cars was prone to malfunction, causing injury and even death. The faulty switches caused 124 deaths and 273 injuries, and GM was finally brought to federal court. In 2014, the company reached a settlement for $900 million and recalled 2.6 million cars.

The case exemplifies the tension between the concept that “the only goal of business is to profit, so the only obligation that the businessperson has is to maximize profit for the owner or the stockholders” on one hand, and the ethical obligations a company owes to its other stakeholders on the other. GM’s failure to consider its stakeholders and consumers when choosing not to report the potential for malfunction of the ignition switches led to an ethical breakdown in its operations and cost the company and its customers dearly. In addition, by treating customers as only a means toward an end, the company turned its back on a generation of loyal buyers.


Read the above Case Study and answer the following Questions:

  • What virtues and values shared by its long-time customers did General Motors betray by failing to disclose an inherent danger built into its cars? (Not less than 600 words) 2.5-Marks
  • How do you think that betrayal affected the company’s brand and the way car buyers felt about the firm? How might it have affected its shareholders’ views of GM? (Not less than 600 words) 2.5-Marks

Requirements: clear answer

the references at least 3


Answer preview

General Motors has been a prominent leader in the automobile business. However, it has struggled with its brand and image throughout the years. The corporation was ignorant and neglected to disclose that the ignition switch in some of its vehicles had a defect and deceived its customers by failing to communicate the risks associated with driving the cars. General Motors fell short of the virtues of honesty, wisdom, courage, intelligence, care, and leadership.

The corporation was more concerned with the profits it would make than with the wellbeing of its clients. It was a violation of the values and qualities of commitment and trust.

1335 words