A Moving Disclosure
Susan has been wrestling with moving her patio furniture manufacturing plant to Georgia from upstate Michigan, where her mother and father founded the company 58 years ago. Everything about her business will be easier there: closer to her markets, lower labor costs, lower raw materials costs, lower shipping costs, no problems with weather, and access to a labor pool that better fits her business. She finally makes the decision to move, but the site she has chosen will not be available for 6 months. Even though her company is a public company (she owns 35 percent) and her board is pushing her to maintain high production levels in Michigan as long as possible, she decides that in deference to her parents and their legacy in the community, she must tell her employees. Four days after signing the lease for the new site in Georgia, she holds a meeting on the shop floor and tells her employees. That afternoon she holds a press conference.
Was Susan ethical? Why or why not? What are the implications and lessons from your discussion of the case? What role do ethical issues play in forming a team, selecting advisors and investors, and other entrepreneurial activities?