GE HEALTHCARE (B): A CSR DILEMMA 5
GEHealthcare (B): A CSR Dilemma
Innovatingfor Emerging Markets
GeneralElectric made significant technological development of new healthcaredevices for monitoring and imaging patients. GE technologicalinnovations were motivated by the need to address healthcare problemsin remote areas through cheap healthcare equipments. The developmentof low cost diagnostic equipment and its subsequent marketing inIndia and China exposed GE to heated controversy.In particular,the GE low cost ultrasound machines were blamed for perpetuatinggender discrimination and numerous abortions in India and China. Inthe light of these events, GE faced adverse ethical dilemmas in itsmarketing, sales and distribution approach.
Specificethical Dilemma that faced GE
Oneethical dilemma that GE faced was how to manage marketing, sales anddistribution of the diagnostic device without exacerbating theproblem of abortions, male preference and gender discriminations. Thesecond dilemma that faced GE was how to control, monitor machinesales to third parties who used the device illegally. GE was blamedfor having insufficient mechanisms to monitor sales distribution toillegitimate practitioners (Blihr, 2009). Furthermore, GE was blamedfor aggressively marketing the device, a move that encouraged illegalownership and use. As such, GE firm was faced with ethical dilemmasin its pursuit of economic interests and social ethical values on theother hand.
Recommendedactions that GE should apply to resolve the ethical issues
Inthese two ethical dilemmas, GE needed to have a strategic marketingapproach guided by legal framework. In particular, GE needed toenforce strict sales screening, conduct training programs, regularaudit of all machines sold to clients and enforcing legal contractson customers. By conducting strict sales screening and enforcinglegal contracts on all sales, GE would weed out illegalpractitioners. Sales screening would help ascertain the intent andpurpose of the buyer thereby ensuring that the device was positivelyused. In addition, enforcing strict legal contracts on use andownership of the diagnostic device would help limit the illegal useof device.
Trainingprograms would be effective in educating people on how to use thedevice for meaningful needs. These training programs should cautionthe locals against illegal use of the diagnostic device (Swayne,Duncan and Ginter, 2013). GE should emphasis against illegal usage bysticking warning labels in hospitals and on devices. Furthermore,conducting regular audits on all machines sold to clients would helpassess the usage and ownership of the devices. This would help ensurethat clients use and maintain ownership of the devices as agreedthrough legal contracts. In this arrangement, customers would berequired to submit proof of affidavit that the usage of the equipmentwould not perpetuate gender discrimination and abortions (Blihr,2009).
Determining if GE breechedany Professional and applied ethics
Theconcept of professionalism dictates that individuals and organizationshould exhibit due diligence in the provision of services. GE did notbreech any professional ethics while introducing the low costdiagnostic equipment in India and China. In particular, GE institutedseveral measures to seal loopholes for illegal usage (Blihr, 2009).For instance, GE sales process was rigorous and clients were requiredto produce PDNT affidavits before they could sign sales legalcontracts.
Inaddition, GE embarked on several education programs that stressed onthe positive use of the diagnostic equipments. Furthermore, GEmotivation to develop cheaper diagnostic equipments was driven bymoral concern to help the poor than money motivations. Although GEwas accused of aggressively marketing the diagnostic devices leadingto illegal use, the strict sales mechanism safeguarded GE against anyact of unprofessionalism(Jasjit,2011). Furthermore, GE conducted regular training programs to educatethe public against wrong use of the diagnostic device. In this way,GE acted within the confines of professional ethics while conductingsales, marketing and distribution of the low cost device.
GEsocial responsibility on male preference culture in Indian and China
Genderdiscrimination and male children preference children are a sensitiveissue. It is social issue that can only be addressed effectively bythe government and not GE. In order for GE to maintain itscompetitiveness and credibility in the market, GE should supportgovernment campaign against female gender discrimination. Inparticular, GE needs to integrate gender discrimination in itsmarketing and training campaigns. GE should stress the need forgender equality and the value of all children regardless of gender(Jasjit,2011).
Inaddition, GE should institute a policy of donating diagnosticmachines to hospitals that support female child births. As a CSRapproach, GE can also institute a supportive program for poor parentswith female children. In this ways, GE would improve its ethical andhuman rights concern thereby reducing bad reputation. This wouldensure continued growth and development of GE among the cultures.
Blihr,(2009). “Promoting Ethical Ultrasound Use in India’Frank Mantero, Director, Corporate Citizenship Programs at GeneralElectric Company,” Internet Resource,http://files.gecompany.com/…/ge_ethical_ultrasound_use_india_casestudy.pdf
JasjitSingh, (2011).“GEHealthcare (A): Innovating for emerging markets INSEAD, The BusinessSchool for the world, Internet Resource, http://www.homeworkmarket.com/sites/default/files/q1/31/07/5776a.pdf
Swayne,L. E., Duncan, W. J., & Ginter, P. M. (2013). Strategicmanagement of health care organizations.John Wiley & Sons.