Ethical Case Study Of Monsanto And Seven Step Model

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Question :

Students will be assigned one of the comprehensive cases from the Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrel text. Using the 7-Step model for Ethics Case analysis, students will write individual reports addressing all the steps from the model as well as address the case questions which is at the end of the question. 

The report should begin with a paragraph or two (maximum half a page) to introduce the organisation and the issues before going into the analysis.

 Finally, one or two paragraphs summarizing conclusions regarding the case (maximum 1 page) is expected. Integrate relevant biblical principles. 

Please include a cover page, Executive Summary, TOC's, Introduction, Body of the Assignment, Conclusion and then Recommendations, numbered properly.

2. Students who combine literature and theory along with the company analysis will attract higher marks. Please note that answering questions 1, 2 and 3 is not simply a regurgitation of the case study. It is comparing and contrasting facts from the case and using literature from academic sources to analyse those facts.

3. Q2 must utilise all 7 steps of the ethical decision making model( attached file) 

4. Q3 must refer to what Monsanto is currently doing to counteract negativity.

5. The 3 ethical theories (which is given in 7 step model) must be analysed in one of the answers.

. APA formatting including cover page, citations and reference page/s are required. Integrate biblical principles in your analysis.

A quick reminder that in question 2 you should apply the 7 step ethical decision making model. In the other two questions provide a good balance between theory (literature) and the case.

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Answer :


Executive summary

Ethics management is the key requirement of every business thus the following report has assessed the ethical case study of Monsanto. In this following study, stakeholder engagement of the company is being assessed profoundly. Alongside, benefits and drawbacks of GM seeds are also assessed through this literature. It has been observed that the development of biotechnology has emerged as bliss to the farmers whereby farmers have enhanced productivity. On the other hand, excessive chemical use has incurred a fine of $180mn for this firm. However, afterward Monsanto introduced Roundup product that has created remarkable progress for the company.


Ethical decisions are required to select the most appropriate approach for the improvement of organizational ethics. Besides this, with the help of ethical decision, companies can subdue unethical practices that restrict organizational goals. The current report is based on Monsanto company ethical issue analysis, which belongs to Agribusiness. This sheds light on the ethical culture of Monsanto organization that has a huge impact on stakeholders. Likewise, responses of Monsanto as per the ethical needs are also highlighted in this study. Additionally, benefits of GM seeds and their negative aspects are described inside it. Moreover, potential harm management techniques of Monsanto are being elicited inside this report.

Being a leading organization of US Monsanto has been observed as largest GM seed providing firm that had sales more than $15.9 billion. As per the case study, it has been seen that Monsanto sells 90% GM seeds around the world. In a similar vein it can be observed that market share of Monsanto is lying between 70%-100% for its different crops. However, being this kind of productivity Monsanto still faces criticism of critics that company is destroying biodiversity. Alongside, a specific section of society claims that Monsanto is trying to take charge of world food supply. However, on a contrary image it has been portrayed by other section of the society that Monsanto is eliminating hunger from society by injecting productive seeds.

1. Monsanto ethical culture for stakeholders

It is obvious enhancing stakeholder engagement in a company to elevate performance. As Monsanto is a leading firm of US thus it is obvious for it to adopt best cultural approaches for firm development. As opined by Freeman, Kujala & Sachs (2017), with the increasing stakeholder engagement companies can reach their desirable. In this regard, Monsanto has adopted integrity as an ethical approach for stakeholders. However, in this integrity of Monsanto ethical culture, the company has considered consistency, transparency and other aspects (, 2018). Furthermore, in order to improve the collaboration with stakeholders, Monsanto has decided to assess thoughtful dialogues.

Likewise, transparency is a prime consideration of organizational improvement in this competitive era. Iphofen (2016) commented that transparency plays the key role in improving the organizational position.  Thus in order to intensify stakeholder engagement, this firm has enhanced the availability of information for stakeholders.  Similarly, information accessibility is also extended by Monsanto for offering dense knowledge to its stakeholders. However, it is essential for employees gathering profound knowledge on company objectives for improving organizational performance (Purdue, 2017). In this regard, Monsanto offers in-depth technical knowledge to farmers alongside scientific views. Hence, gathering insights on advanced technologies, farmers are developing performance.

Apart from this, in order to enhance the stakeholder engagement of the firm, Monsanto enables advanced technologies to their farmers whereby quality of the crop has been improved significantly. Hence, using this mechanism this firm has improved the stakeholder satisfaction whereby the company is trying to grab zenith market position. As postulated by Kolodinsky (2018), development of biotechnology has emerged as bliss to the farmers whereby farmers have enhanced productivity. Since Monsanto, aims to provide high-quality products thus the inclusion of these technologies have impacted the cultural improvement of the company significantly. Besides this, production of high-quality materials is elevating the client base of Monsanto alongside other stakeholders.

Furthermore, it is not possible for Monsanto to expand its business without any assistance of different community. In order to engage more people with this firm, Monsanto has incorporated people of different culture in their organization. Kennedy, Moraska & Rich (2017) stated that it is obvious to employ best ethical approaches inside the firm to develop its position. In this regard, Monsanto shows dignity to every community and culture those are engaged with the firm. Similarly, different safety measures in context with organizational employees and customers have been adopted by Monsanto to meet the desired goal of the company.

Additionally, Monsanto has decided to improve their directional clarity for the betterment of business understanding. Similarly, accountability and roles are also focused by this firm in order to improve stakeholder relationship. Schwartz (2016) commented that implementing best ethical practices inside the firm, an organization could develop performance. Thus, the application of better ethical practices is offering Monsanto the opportunity of building a strong relationship with different stakeholders. Hence, using this practices organization can prospect business towards its specified goal and thereby decision-making skills of Monsanto can be improved remarkably. Moreover, wise decision of Monsanto has improved teamwork capability of its workers.

2. Benefits and negative consequences of GM seeds 

Genetically modified (GM) seeds are considered as one of the key innovations in the field of agriculture due to its extensive applications. However, prime advantage of GM seeds is productivity enhancement of agricultural industry. In this competitive era, to grab the demographic advantage it is obvious employing unique and effective approaches inside the firm. Supporting this view Yam, Chen & Reynolds (2014) proposed that, it is obvious adopting wise decisions within the firm to attain organizational desires. In this regard, it is obvious assessing the ethical decision-making of Monsanto. 7-step model for ethical decision-making can be considered as an ideal assessment tool in this regard.

a. The facts

Facts assessment is the first step of this 7-step model where decision making facts are assessed. In this current case study, it can be seen that the innovation of GM seeds has created an ethical situation for Monsanto. GM seeds are beneficial as it enhances the productivity of the company whereas killing of good pesticides emerged as a drawback of this seeds. Additionally, Monsanto has been impacted with legal threatening initially as one of its product has harmed human lives sufficiently. Goodall (2014) commented that every industry needs proper understanding regarding their ethical goals. Following case highlights the fact that excessive use of chemicals has reduced the reputation of Monsanto and due to this company has paid $180mn as a penalty.

b. Ethical issues

On the other hand, ethical issues are considered as the second step of this current model. In this current case study, it has been observed that Monsanto has faced ethical issues during the production of Agent Orange as the product has contained a huge amount of dioxin. This extreme carcinogenic element is observed as a threat for society whereby a lawsuit is being filed against Monsanto during 1979. Milliken, Reynolds & Richardson (2018) opined that ethical decisions need ensuring proper follow-up of the legislative framework. However, in order to cope up with this situation, Monsanto introduced Roundup herbicide that emerged as beneficial for the firm. Though many herbicides kill good saplings, Roundup saved these good plants. Hence, sparing crops and eliminating weeds this product has offered benefit to farmers whereby Monsanto has enhanced its acceptance among people.

c. The Alternatives

Along with this, Alternatives are considered as the third step of this 7-step ethical decision-making model. In this following case, it has been seen that Monsanto has introduced Roundup as an alternative product that has benefited this firm for its long run. Moardi, Salehi & Marandi (2016) observed that proper maintenance of patience level can improve the performance of the company whereby an organization can grab the competitive advantage. In order to regain its market position, Monsanto has entered into merger business by changing its name. Since Monsanto name has created panic deep inside people thus by changing its name company has tried to glorify the business again. However, just after two years, Monsanto has broken up with merger relation and again it has started a new journey with a new name.

d. The Stakeholders

Assessment of stakeholders has been emerged out as the fourth step of this current model for ethical decision-making. Lehnert,  Park & Singh (2015) coined that, it is obvious assessing people who are getting affected during the adoption of the ethical decision. Since customers are primary stakeholders of business, thus assessment of the impact on primary stakeholders has been emerged as one of the prime criteria in this model. In this current context, it has been observed that clients of Monsanto along with employees are rigorously harmed due to the decision making of the company. With its latest approach, Monsanto has intensified its employee base and this has provided the management to contribute more in biotechnology (, 2018). Hence, incorporation of these new technologies has been emerged as beneficial for the company stakeholders.

e. The Ethics of the Alternatives

Besides this, assessment of alternatives ethics is being considered as another requirement of this model. The Utilitarian principle has emerged as a prime consideration of this step and in this following case of Monsanto, it has been observed that stakeholders are providing the greatest benefit to the firm. Purdue (2017) opined that for effective decision making it is obvious understanding most essential requirements of the firm. Customer number enhancement is beneficial for profit enhancement of firm hence; following principle can be considered as effective for Monsanto. On the other hand, according to rights principle health is a fundamental right of stakeholders. Previous chemicals have impacted the organizational growth thus drought-tolerant seeds implementation has emerged as beneficial for the firm (Kennedy, Moraska & Rich, 2017). Moreover, the justice principle focuses on burden distribution for alternatives thus using this principle burden of following stakeholders can be assessed clearly.

f. The Practical Constraints

In a similar vein, constraints measurement is considered another step of this model. As the application of advanced technology is emerged as beneficial for the organization, thus using this view constraints mitigation becomes possible for this following case. Goodall (2014) observed that effective constraint mitigation helps in performance elevation of the firm. Hence, bulk allocation in the biotechnology can be considered as the most appropriate action. 

g. Actions to Take

Similarly, Monsanto has projected to improve its benefit by 2030 and it has decided to reach 300 bushels per acre by that time. This can be supposed as the most effective alternative for regaining the market position of the company. Thus, using this view of organization step seven of this following model can be attained effectively. Hence, thereby Monsanto can deliver merit quality products to their customers whereby it can grab the demographic advantage.

3. Monsanto harm management 

In this following case study, it has been described that Monsanto is a agribusiness organization that is conducting business with huge experience. Since the company has faced legal challenges during its earlier time, thus it has incorporated different key approaches to fight back this adverse situation. Change of CEO has emerged as a first effective action of this firm. Henceforth, Monsanto started allocating bulk in its biotechnology and research department in order to provide the best agricultural products to the market. Moardi, Salehi & Marandi (2016) opined that application of best ethical approaches could develop the tolerance level of the organization. 

In this regard, using the merging process Monsanto has grabbed key business ideas from its partner. Moreover, in order to become a market leader this firm has invented Roundup product inside the company whereby company products are developed. Previous products have harmed the good plants alongside weeds. In order to mitigate this threat for the farmers, Monsanto developed Roundup product and thereby it has elevated environmental safety accordingly (Schwartz, 2016). On the other hand, using the productive biotechnology and GM seeds this company has elevated production of crops remarkably. This remarkable productivity enhancement, in turn, has developed the safety of crops and farmers have gained benefit from this.


From the above analysis, it can be concluded that Monsanto is a company that is conducting business in the US market with its GM seeds. Incorporation of GM seeds has developed the market position of this firm whereby it has benefited the farmers of the country. However, during the earlier age of Monsanto’s formation, it has faced legal and ethical challenges due to product quality. In order to mitigate this issue, this organization has paid $180mn fine and started the business with a new vision. The company has invented new products like Roundup that are effective for the weed elimination. Apart from this, the key benefit of this product has emerged as the product has not harmed the good plants and eliminated weeds only. Thus, the company has secured its market position and gaining confidence from this fact it has elevated allocation in the research department. Hence, consideration of the 7-step ethical decision-making has shown the efficiency enhancement of Monsanto whereby it has emerged as a market dominator.


As Monsanto is an agribusiness firm of US thus following recommendations can be considered as effective for this firm:

  • Profound governance of product quality

Monsanto is conducting business inside the agribusiness sector thus it is obvious for the firm to maintain merit quality of product to attract more clients. In this regard, the company needs governing product quality profoundly.

  • Gathering insights on legal provisions

Government is key stakeholder of every business and Monsanto has faced legal charges already. In this context, it is obvious for the company gathering profound knowledge on legal provisions that can mitigate threats regarding legal challenges.

  • Stakeholder management

In order to propagate business, it is obvious incorporating effective business strategies and thereby satisfying stakeholders. Since customers are prime stakeholders and employees are pillars of this firm hence, it is obvious gathering safety of stakeholders. Thereby the company can progress with effective stakeholder management.