The history of American Red Cross (ARC) may not be as a clean as many of us would like to believe writes Joe Allen (2005). The institution has been scandalous since its inception when racism was rampant and the institution was not an exemption. However, the most recent ethical problems that ARC has faced can be said to be as a result of negligence. It has been an easy decade for ARC with scandals starting from the Liberty Fund’s lack of transparency, inadequately handling of Hurricane Katrina, substandard handling of blood products and violations of blood safety laws all totaling to a whopping total of $47 million in fines and penalties (Koleva, 2012).

The Liberty Fund scandal involved diversion of donations meant for the victims of the 9/11 disaster to other ARC activities an action that brought outrage towards the once highly respected institution. Hurricane Katrina brought with it a new challenge, the institution’s operations were said to be insufficient, poorly organized and to some extent racial discriminatory yet ARC raised a record 1.1 Billion dollars for the victims (Grabianowski, 2008). The blood handling scandals have been the efforts of federal inspectors who found blood safety violations in 16 out of their 36 blood collection centers and the 2010 FDA’s discovery that ARC handling of blood products such as red blood cells, plasma and platelets was substandard and the manufacturing guidelines were disregarded (Koleva, 2012).

The solutions to ARC’s ethical problems is embodied in two theories the utilitarian and the virtue ethics theory. The solutions include;

  • Change of the management technique to ensure efficiency
  • Total overhaul of the organization’s management rather than top officials only
  • More transparency in the organization’s operations

The best solution to the problem will be a combination of a total overhaul and change in management techniques because this does not only clean the ARC’s tarnished name but also improve efficiency.



McDonalds a brand name and household name that many Americans adore more specifically kids and hamburger loving adults has had lots of ethical issues for a food business. McDonald has come under a lot of problems and challenges ranging from promotion of unhealthy eating habits, high competition in both local and international market, worker’s wage issues and a ruined reputation.



The endless scandals of McDonalds seem to be finally catching up with the company especially in the American market. Fast food appetites are shifting, a factor that has been attributed to customer preference but I tend to believe that the scandals are a factor that has led to Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Panera Bread (PNRA) gaining ground on the market share (Wong, 2013). The weak global economy has had a negative effect on McDonald’s sales especially the in the European market where sales continue to be low due to uncertainty in the consumers (Mourdoukoutas, 2013). McDonalds however seems not have learned from its past scandals and has ignored the wages issue whereby the fast food giant pays the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour an issue which culminated in a workers strike who are bargaining for a manufacturing industry wage (Jamieson, 2013).

The solutions to these problems are mostly economic in nature however the virtue ethics theory should be applied so as to improve the company’s tarnished reputation. The main solutions to the problems are;

  • Diversification of its menus in international markets such as China
  • Introduction of healthy dishes in the local market to counter the competition
  • More ethical practices in handling its issues such as wages and advertising.

The best solutions is a combination of introduction of healthy dishes and ethical practices as it will not improve the company’s reputation but will solve issues regarding promotion of unhealthy eating behavior a factor that may lure back their customers.




Grabianowski, E. (2006, January 5). HowStuffWorks “How the American Red Cross Works”. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from

Koleva, G. (2012). American Red Cross Fined $9.6 Million for Unsafe Blood Collection.       Forbes. Retrieved May 16, 2014 from       million-for-unsafe-blood-collection/

Mourdoukoutas, P. (2013). McDonald’s Big Challenge at Home and Abroad. Forbes.             Retrieved May 16, 2014 from     at-home-and-abroad/

Wong, V. (2013, July 22). Four Reasons McDonald’s Is Worried About the Near        Future. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved May 16, 2014, from     about-the-near-future


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