Ignoring Social Responsibility for Operations Managers Can Lead to Court


This article is disturbing. To summarize, a toddler incurred permanent physical damage due to the neglience of an operating manager of an Ikea store in Milton Keynes, UK. This was not simply an unfortunate accident. It was the result of an operating manager not considering the magnitude of the consequences their neglience at their job could have on other human beings or end users. Not only did these operations managers not fulfill the ethical obligations of their position, but they failed to fulfill the basic legal obligations of their position, as well. Considering that the escalators’ structural gap was in breech of the legal limit of four millimetres in the UK, this event provides an effective example of what even the slightest neglience derviving from an operations manager or any business decision maker can and does result in, often. The operations manager must have been made aware of that they were breaking the law by retaining an escalator gap, which exceeded the legal limit of four millimetres, at some point throughout the course of their employment with Ikea, yet decided to ignore that fact. While employees were moving cargo or while the thousands of customers, which most likely have utilized this escalator, since its installation, the operations manager must have been made aware of the legal breech of that escalator gap. Now Ikea has an innocent victim on their hands due to the actions taken by their operations managers, whose life will never be the same.


To what degree does Ikea, the company, hold liability for this event due the decisions and actions taken by their operations managing staff? To what degree does the escalator manufacturing company hold liability, which continued to provide maintenance serivces post purchase for this Ikea store?





Tragic: Both fingers were amputated about halfway down after the accident in the store in Milton Keynes, Bucks

2 thoughts on “Ignoring Social Responsibility for Operations Managers Can Lead to Court

  1. The theme of Social Responsibility is without doubt one of the most important in all types of organizations. It is an issue that has been the subject of frequent analysis at business forums, in academia, government approaches, and that is drawing attention from all sectors of society.

    In general, from a pragmatic point of view, every society faces different social issues. It is recognized the existence of high levels of unemployment that threaten the welfare of the population. It cannot be a justification, but it could be an explanation that unemployment may be a cause of other social problems surrounding such as the emergence of thieves, who steal for themselves and their families survive.

    But bear in mind that there are organized gangs of thieves, who by the ambition of getting rich quickly, and for wanting to hold power in certain sectors, constitute illegal and undesirable groups in every society.

    There are other important social problems: malnutrition in some segments of the population; illiteracy; lack of health coverage, especially the low income population; many families who are homeless; low wages, especially among low educational levels, etc.

    Given this situation as dramatic, it is the issue of social responsibility. Therefore, it corresponds to the most favored sectors (business, high income individuals, and government itself) to contribute effectively to solving social problems. It is understood that there are no laws explicitly require compliance with a Corporate and Personal Social Responsibility. But, if we are wise and think rationally, development and implementation of policies on Social Responsibility are elements that will benefit all.

    Indeed, companies that meet social responsibility projects receive the appreciation and support of communities. And, in recognition of his social work, they have favorability by consumers when they make purchases of goods and services required for the satisfaction of their needs. Moreover, in some countries, the government gives tax breaks to companies that freely meet social benefit programs (job creation, build schools, fix roads, support libraries and cultural events, educational program development, program support public health, etc..). By contrast, organizations that refuse to participate in solving social problems, receive public criticism, and most likely try to avoid buying their products or services.

    However, some argue that social responsibility should be mandatory for firms through the issuance of laws and legal regulations on the subject. But, from my point of view, I do not think convenient this way, because social responsibility is a matter of conscience, not because law orders it. I believe that Social Responsibility stems from the rationality of the individual and the sense of solidarity and belonging to their communities.

    However, the discussion is still open. But I do want to add that social responsibility is a theme that is emerging in the minds of entrepreneurs. Every day, it is showed the interest of entrepreneurs and people with high economic capacity to participate in solving social problems. It is our responsibility, as members of the institutions, cooperate to promote this social process.

  2. I find many managers not having enough experience when it comes to ethics in a work place. This is due to lack of knowledge about the law and the consequences that may appear from it. This ikea article is a great example. I think companies like IKEA should give extensive training to each employee about ethics and HR rules in a work place.

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