Gun Sales Forms by cic99420

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      The Expanding Circle
            of Moral
         Responsibility
      Manuel Velasquez, Santa Clara University
              Katie Buck, Affymetrix
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                Moral Responsibility
      • Two Meanings:
       – Obligation or Duty
       – Culpability: Being to blame for an injury
      • Culpability: Agent is morally responsible for
      an injury when:
       – Agent caused it
       – Agent knew it
       – Agent could have
         prevented it
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        Traditional Extent of Corporate
             Moral Responsibility
      • Traditionally:
       – Company is morally responsible for injuries it
       inflicts on other parties
       – Provided:
         • it caused the injuries itself,
         • it knew it was causing
           those injuries, and
         • it could have prevented
           the injuries
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       Expansion of Downstream Moral
               Responsibility
• During Second half of 20th Century
      – Company is held responsible for injuries
      users of its products inflict on themselves
      while using the company's product
      (product liability)
        • Provided: company knew about it, and
        could have prevented it.

      – Company is also held responsible for
      injuries users inflict on themselves using
      defective product
        • Even if: company did not know about
        it, and could not have prevented it (strict
        liability)
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        Expansion of Upstream Moral
               Responsibility
      • Last 20 years:
       – Companies also held responsible for injuries its
       suppliers inflict on third parties (e.g., employees).
        • Most famous: Nike "sweatshops"




       – Here: Nike perceived to be an indirect cause,
       knew or should have known what was going on,
       and could have prevented it.
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      Expansion of Downstream Moral
              Responsibility
      • And, Last 20 years:
       – Companies increasingly held responsible for
       injuries their customers inflict on third parties using
       the companies’ products.
       – Examples:
        • Gun manufacturers
        • Taverns, Bars
          serving alcohol
        • Manufacturers
          of computers
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                    Two Main Issues
        -To what extent is a company morally
      responsible for how customers use products,
      i.e., for injuries customers might inflict on third
      parties using its products?
        -How can company minimize its exposure to
      this kind of moral responsibility?
       – After the fact: publicists, lawyers
       – Before the fact: monitor customer sales, refuse to
       sell if needed.
         • Gun sales laws
         • Limiting alcoholic beverage sales
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                 Biotech Industry
      • Affymetrix is dealing with these
      • Products can be used to perform genetic
      analyses. Information gained by analyses
      can be used in various ways, some of which
      have high potential for injury.
      • Company uses an “Ethics Advisory Board”
      to help evaluate and monitor customer uses
      of its products.
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                            Affymetrix
      • A spin-off of Affymax
       – Affymax (founded 1988 by Alejandro
       Zaffaroni, sold to Glaxo, sold to private investors
       in 2001) tested compounds for their potential
       use as drugs on miniature chips.
      • Affymetrix, the spin-off, was founded by
      Steve Fodor & A. Zaffaroni
       – Made miniature chips containing thousands of
       samples of DNA that allow users to analyze
       thousands of pieces of genetic information
       simultaneously
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                       Affymetrix
                        History
      • 1989: Affymax Research Institute
      created as startup inside Affymax,
      research team led by Steve Fodor
      • 1991: In February S. Fodor &
      research team publish report in
      Science on using photolithography
      to embed biochemical compounds
      on silicia-based chips.
      • 1992: Affymetrix becomes an
      independent company to pursue this
      new technology
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                             Affymetrix
      • 1993-1995: Raises $21 million
      from private investors in first
      round funding, $39 million in
      second round, and $31 million in
      government research grants to
      partner with academic research
      institutions
      • 1996: sells first products, (total
      of 9 systems by end of the year);
      in June Affymetrix goes public
      on Nasdaq, raises $90 million.
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                      Affymetrix
      • 2000: Company had secured over 100
      patents, sold over 100,000 of its “GeneChip”
      microarrays




      • 2001: Affymetrix was leading supplier of
      genetic diagnosing systems for research
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               Affymetrix
                 (data in thousands)

             Revenues            Net Income (loss)
      2000   $200,830            ($53,990)
      2001   $224,874            ($33,121)
      2002   $289,874            ($1,630)
      2003   $300,796            $14,285
      2004   $345,962            $47,608
      2005   $367,602            $57,516
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                      Affymetrix
      • 1997: Member of Board of Directors raises
      question of company's moral responsibility for
      how its products are/will be used.
      • Affymetrix forms Ethics Advisory Board to
      provide company with advice on its moral
      responsibilities.
      • EAB meets periodically, discusses ethical
      issues related to customer use of company's
      products, makes (advisory) recommendations

								
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