Case Study Of The Melamine Milk Crisis In China

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Preventative crises occur again and again for various reasons. One of the main reasons is because managers and top level business executives desire for profits without regard to sound moral principles (Crandall, Parnell, & Spillan, 2014). Unfortunately, this in itself can trigger an organizational crisis. This problem appears in many forms, but the results are usually the same: an organizational crisis of some type, stakeholders who have been hurt, and prevention that would have cost pennies in comparison to the damage done (Crandall et al., 2014). A classic case of unethical decision making and lack of crisis management concerns the Melamine Milk Crisis in China.
This case begins with a Chinese company, the Sanlu Group, who was purchasing milk for use in its baby formula. Over time employees of the Sanlu Group discovered the milk their company was purchasing, was tainted with melamine (Crandall et al., 2014). Melamine is a product generally used to make plastics and laminates. Unfortunately, management personnel working for the Sanlu Group was unaware of the tainted substance being illegally added to the milk. However, the melamine product is a life threatening product that can cause kidney stones and renal failure once it is consumed. Although the melamine boosted the protein rating of the milk, it was illegally added to the milk (Crandall et al., 2014).
Still unaware of the danger the melamine laced milk was causing to infants, the Sanlu Group continued to purchase the

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