Essay about Ben and Jerry's Ethical Issues

1962 Words 8 Pages
1. Were Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield right to accept Unilever’s takeover offer for Ben & Jerry’s in 2000? And what does this case imply about business ethics more generally?

Ben and Jerry’s is an ice cream producing company. The first shop opened in Burlington, Vermont in 1978. With a $12.000 ($4.000 were borrowed) investment, Ben and Jerry opened their first homemade ice-cream scoop shop. Each year the company celebrates its anniversary by having a free cone day. This has been a tradition since the very beginning. In 1981 the expansion begins and the company starts its first franchise. In 1984 sales begin to increase at an extremely high rate. At this time there was a 120% increase compared to the previous year. In 1985, the
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He affirms that if customer value is given priority then the company is able to make higher returns than any other company with another strategy. “Determining what your customers value and focusing on always pleasing them is a better optimization formula”(Martin). This didn’t happen for Ben and Jerry’s. In fact, they continued doing their business according to their strategy. They continued investing in social issues, they continued to pursue their mission statement with their usual coherence. According to their strategy, the most important thing was focused on addressing to social issues first and consumers after.
As the CSR model demonstrates, the responsibilities are ordered from the most important to the least important as the following list shows; economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities. According to Carroll, the model “attempts to place economic and legal expectations of business in perspective by relating them to more socially oriented concerns. These concerns include ethical responsibilities and voluntary/discretionary (philanthropic) responsibilities”. However, Ben and Jerry’s approach to business seems to relate to this model from an inverse point of view. If the philanthropic level is what is desired by society according to Carroll, to Ben and Jerry it is what is required. The same reasoning goes with the ethical responsibilities where according to the model is what is

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