Christian Worldview/Operations Management Integration Paper

For this assignment, you will discuss how Christian principles can be applied to an operations management dilemma:

Select one of the ethical dilemmas below from the text:

  • Managing Quality (Chapter 6) (page 227)
  • Process Strategy (Chapter 7) (page 291)
  • Layout Strategy (Chapter 9) (page 379)
  • Supply Chain Management (Chapter 11) (page 453)
  • Inventory Management (Chapter 12) (page 502)

Briefly summarize the issue. Note that only a small portion of your paper’s content should be devoted to summarizing the issue.

Respond to the following question(s) in the text:

How can this issue be addressed from a Christian worldview? In other words, what guidance from a Biblical perspective could be applied to understand and possibly resolve the dilemma?

In addition to addressing the questions, the student may also optionally frame the issue using ethical theories (Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, Distributive Justice, Virtue ethics and Covenantal ethics). Note however that the questions provided must be addressed.

Use external citations. Your paper should have at least six external citations (in additional to any Biblical citations) to help frame the issue. No Wikipedia citations are allowed.

Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

Format: use Times New Roman (font size: 12) with 1-inch margins.


Submit your file in a Microsoft Word document. Ensure that your last name is in your file name.

This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.

Managing Quality (Chapter 6) (page 227)

A lawsuit a few years ago made headlines worldwide when a

McDonald’s drive-through customer spilled a cup of scalding

hot coffee on herself. Claiming the coffee was too hot to

be safely consumed in a car, the badly burned 80-year-old

woman won $2.9 million in court. (The judge later reduced

the award to $640,000.) McDonald’s claimed the product

was served to the correct specifications and was of proper

quality. Further, the cup read “Caution—Contents May

Be Hot.” McDonald’s coffee, at 180º, is substantially hotter

(by corporate rule) than typical restaurant coffee, despite

hundreds of coffee-scalding complaints in the past 10 years.

Similar court cases, incidentally, resulted in smaller verdicts,

but again in favor of the plaintiffs. For example, Motor City

Bagel Shop was sued for a spilled cup of coffee by a drivethrough

patron, and Starbucks by a customer who spilled

coffee on her own ankle.

Are McDonald’s, Motor City, and Starbucks at fault in

situations such as these? How do quality and ethics enter into

these cases?

Process Strategy (Chapter 7) (page 291)

For the sake of efficiency and lower costs, Premium Standard

Farms of Princeton, Missouri, has turned pig production into a

standardized product-focused process. Slaughterhouses have

done this for a hundred years—but after the animal was dead.

Doing it while the animal is alive is a relatively recent innovation.

Here is how it works.

Impregnated female sows wait for 40 days in metal stalls so

small that they cannot turn around. After an ultrasound test,

they wait 67 days in a similar stall until they give birth. Two

weeks after delivering 10 or 11 piglets, the sows are moved back

to breeding rooms for another cycle. After 3 years, the sow is

slaughtered. Animal-welfare advocates say such confinement

drives pigs crazy. Premium Standard replies that its hogs are

in fact comfortable, arguing that only 1% die before Premium

Standard wants them to and that their system helps reduce the

cost of pork products.

Discuss the productivity and ethical implications of this

industry and these two divergent opinions.

Layout Strategy (Chapter 9) (page 379)

Although buried by mass customization and a proliferation

of new products of numerous sizes and variations, grocery

chains continue to seek to maximize payoff from their layout.

Their layout includes a marketable commodity—shelf space—

and they charge for it. This charge is known as a slotting fee.

Recent estimates are that food manufacturers now spend some

13% of sales on trade promotions, which is paid to grocers

to get them to promote and discount the manufacturer’s

products. A portion of these fees is for slotting, but slotting

fees drive up the manufacturer’s cost. They also put the small

company with a new product at a disadvantage, because small

companies with limited resources may be squeezed out of the

marketplace. Slotting fees may also mean that customers may

no longer be able to find the special local brand. How ethical

are slotting fees?

Supply Chain Management (Chapter 11) (page 453)

As a buyer for a discount retail chain, you find yourself caught

in a maelstrom. Just last month, your chain began selling an

economy-priced line of clothing endorsed by a famous movie

star. To be price competitive, you have followed the rest of

the industry and sourced the clothing from a low-wage region

of Asia. Initial sales have been brisk; however, the movie star

has recently called you screaming and crying because an

investigative news outlet has reported that the clothes with her

name on them are being made by children.

Outraged, you fly to the outsourcing manufacturing

facility only to find that conditions are not quite as clearcut

as you had originally imagined. You feel uncomfortable

riding through the streets. Poverty is everywhere. Children

are chasing foreigners and begging for money. When

you enter the plant, you observe a very clean facility. The

completely female workforce appears to be very industrious,

but many of them do appear to be young. You confront the

plant manager and explain your firm’s strict international

sourcing policies. You demand to know why these girls aren’t

in school. The manager provides the following response:

“The truth is that some of these workers may be underage.

We check IDs, but the use of falsified records is commonplace

in this country. Plus, you don’t understand the alternatives. If

you shut this plant down, you will literally take food off the

table for these families. There are no other opportunities in

this town at this time, and there’s no comprehensive welfare

system in our country. As for the young women, school is not

an option. In this town, only boys receive an education past

the sixth grade. If you shut us down, these girls will be out

on the street, begging, stealing, or prostituting themselves.

Your business offers them a better existence. Please don’t

take that away!”

What do you say to your company, the movie star, the media,

and the protestors picketing your stores? Is the best option to

shut down and try someplace else?

Inventory Management (Chapter 12) (page 502)

Wayne Hills Hospital in tiny Wayne, Nebraska, faces a problem

common to large, urban hospitals as well as to small, remote

ones like itself. That problem is deciding how much of each type

of whole blood to keep in stock. Because blood is expensive and

has a limited shelf life (up to 5 weeks under 1–6ºC refrigeration),

Wayne Hills naturally wants to keep its stock as low as possible.

Unfortunately, past disasters such as a major tornado and a

train wreck demonstrated that lives would be lost when not

enough blood was available to handle

massive needs. The hospital administrator

wants to set an 85% service level based

on demand over the past decade. Discuss

the implications of this decision. What is

the hospital’s responsibility with regard to

stocking lifesaving medicines with short

shelf lives? How would you set the inventory

level for a commodity such as blood?