Amazon’s Fast Delivery: The Human Cost

Abstract

Fast delivery to customers required Amazon fulfillment center employees to meet high daily productivity quotas. In some of the centers, robots and people worked together. The efficiency of the robots and the company’s productivity standards, made it challenging for workers to avoid injury. Candace accepted a position in a center utilizing robots and was injured on the job, just like hundreds of others. Her injuries and lack of workplace accommodations prevented her from meeting productivity quotas and consequently jeopardized her job. She wondered if customers understood the human cost incurred to achieve such fast delivery and if it was ethical to subject employees to such work environments. Students are asked to analyze the situation from various ethical perspectives and offer their opinions to Candace. During their analysis they will learn about ethics, ethical standards, stakeholders, and corporate social responsibility.

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