Case Study: The Coca-Cola Company Struggles with Ethical Crises


Coca Cola is undoubtedly one of the most famous and most valuable brands all around the world. Be that as it may, in late decades the organization has experienced issues meeting its money related goals and has been connected with various moral emergencies. As an outcome, a few speculators have lost confidence in the organization. For instance, Warren Buffet (board part and solid supporter of and financial specialist in Coca-Cola) surrendered from the board in 2006 following quite a while of disappointment over Coca-Cola’s inability to conquer its difficulties.

Since the 1990s, Coca-Cola has been blamed for dishonest conduct in various regions, for example, item security, hostile to aggressiveness, racial segregation, channel stuffing, wholesaler clashes, terrorizing of union laborers, contamination, and exhaustion of common assets. Verifiably, Coca-Cola has been a win for over 120 years. Interestingly, PepsiCo (established at generally the same time) did not turn into a genuine contender until after World War II, when it concocted the thought to offer its item in bigger bits at the same cost as Coke. Coca-Cola stays a standout amongst the most-perceived brand names on the planet today, justified regardless of an evaluated $68.73 billion in 2009. The organization has constantly exhibited solid business sector introduction, settling on key choices and making a move to pull in, fulfill, and hold clients.

Sections archive the affirmed unfortunate behavior and sketchy conduct that have influenced Coca-Cola partners and perhaps the organization’s money related performance. Perhaps the most harming of Coca-Cola’s emergencies—and a circumstance feared by each organization – started in June 1999 when around thirty Belgian youngsters turned out to be sick in the wake of devouring Coke items. Questions concerning Coca-Cola’s business sector predominance and government investigation into its advertising strategies tormented the organization all through Europe. Since the European Union nations have strict antitrust laws, all organizations must give careful consideration to advertise share and position when considering joint endeavors, mergers, and acquisitions. In 1999, Coca-Cola’s notoriety was managed another blow when 1,500 African American representatives sued for racial segregation. The claim, which in the end developed to incorporate 2,000 current furthermore, previous workers, blamed the organization for separating in regions of pay, advancement, furthermore, execution assessment. Coca-Cola was likewise blamed for channel stuffing amid the mid 2000s. Channel stuffing is the act of delivery additional, no requested stock to wholesalers and retailers some time recently the end of a quarter.

Somewhere around 2001 and 2004, a viler allegation against Coke surfaced in Colombia. Since 1989 eight union Coca-Cola laborers had passed on there, 48 were constrained into stowing away, also, 65 had gotten demise dangers. Coca-Cola has additionally experienced inconvenience at its packaging plants in India, handling allegations of both groundwater exhaustion and sullying. Despite feeling, obviously Coca-Cola is not a flawless organization and that it has been included in its offer of moral wrongdoing. Shareholder responses have modified many times over the organization’s history, however the organization has held an expansive faithful base. The organization trusts that its present administration is sufficiently solid to move Coca-Cola past this emphasis on morals and into a beneficial begin to the twenty-first century. Subsequently, the inquiry is whether authority is doing what it takes to polish Coca-Cola’s picture and try to do it says others should do.

Analysis / Opinion

If the case history is analyzed, it is clearly evident that Coca Cola is facing a number of issues in terms of different ethical concerns. In my opinion, in the early part of the twenty-first century, Coca-Cola’s budgetary execution was sure, with the organization keeping up a sound asset report. Be that as it may, income over the delicate drink industry have been on a moderate decay due to diminished utilization, expanded rivalry, and the 2008–2009 worldwide subsidence. By and by, Coca-Cola is sure of its long haul suitability and stays solid in the conviction that the organization is very much situated to succeed paying little mind to the monetary circumstance.

So as to remain an effective organization long into the future, Coca-Cola must resolve clashes and claims connected with moral emergencies. While Coca-Cola is attempting to set up  its notoriety in light of value items and socially capable exercises, it has fizzled its various partners on various events throughout the years. Can Coca-Cola’s solid accentuation on social duty, particularly charitable and ecological concerns, help the organization keep up its notoriety even with exceedingly open moral clashes and emergencies?

My opinion about the case discussed and its importance to business can be concluded in terms of its history and different practices. For over 10 years, Coca-Cola has been battling for its notoriety against claims of absence of wellbeing and security of its items, unlawful focused practices, racial segregation and worker terrorizing, channel stuffing, out of line wholesaler treatment, and the contamination and ravaging of characteristic assets. It is hard to translate all accessible data and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Under Nevill Isdell and Muhtar Kent’s initiative, Coca-Cola has bounced back and started to take strides toward progressing its picture. The organization is concentrating more on ecological stewardship, for instance.

In any case, the organization’s commentators say that Coca-Cola is not doing what’s necessary—that its endeavors are only window dressing to shroud its debasement. A valid example: Although the organization cases to have tended to all issues in India and cases to endeavor to help the nation’s populace, the Internet is rich with continuous feedback of Coca-Cola’s practices in that nation. Individuals worldwide are made up for lost time in passionate responses—both positive and negative—to this huge enterprise.


Thorne, D., Ferrell, O., & Jackson, J. (2011). The Coca-Cola Company Struggles with Ethical Crises. In J. Fraedrich, O. Ferrell, & L. Ferrell, Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases (pp. 407-417). Mason, Ohio, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.