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Business Ethics: Jack In The Box Fast Food Restaurant

1916 words - 8 pages

INTRODUCTION
Jack in the Box is an American fast food restaurant that first opened in San Diego, California in 1951. It’s owner, Robert Peterson, was a businessman who already operated other restaurants as well as a food-manufacturing facility that later became Foodmaker Inc., the parent company of Jack in the Box. An investment group converted Jack in the Box into a privately owned company in 1988, but it went public again in 1992 (JackInTheBoxInc.com, 2013). One year later, a devastating incident occurred that shook the entire company.
On January 13, 1993, there were a unusual amount of children being treated for the E. coli infection in the Seattle area. Jack in the Box was soon found responsible by the Washington State Health Department for the illnesses, as well as the deaths of three children. As soon as CEO Robert Nungent was made aware of the crisis, he took a number of steps to properly assess and manage the situation. His actions were a detrimental aspect of how Jack in the Box recovered from such a damaging experience. There was a number of communication strategies used to turn the crisis into a resolved conflict. The company also evaluated the needs of each stakeholder and took responsibility in satisfying them. Jack in the Box had a very proactive approach on handling the issues at hand.
In the following analysis, I will be focusing on the problems that occurred, how it was/could’ve been resolved, stakeholders that were involved and how crises can affect

ANALYSIS
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a when a firm goes beyond compliance and engages in “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law” (McWilliams, Siegel & Wright, 2006). It is a method that aims to take responsibility for every action of the company and positively impacts it’s environment and stakeholders. The stakeholders involved in the Jack in the Box case are customers, employees, investors, the community, suppliers, the government and the media. The stakeholders that are engaged financially (all listed, excluding the media and the government) are considered primary stakeholders because they directly affect the business’ survival. Secondary stakeholders (the media and government) are not economically bound to the company, but are important nonetheless because they can place intense pressure on the company. Other sources that are examples of secondary stakeholders are competitors, trade associations and special-interest groups (i.e. environmental).
Corporations owe each stakeholder something different, but what’s most essential to have is trust. Trust is gained through honesty and integrity. It is the most significant aspect of any business relationship. Businesses also owe their employees things like benefits, safe working conditions, fair pay, and a diverse work environment. They owe their customers things like safe products, quality service, and knowledgeable employees....

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