This paper provides the theoretical framework for a case study that I share with students in my courses. The dialectical theory is used to analyze ethical conundrums pertaining to Genzyme, a successful bio-tech corporation based in Boston, Massachusetts that manufactures treatments for serious diseases such as kidney problems, immune diseases, and cancer. We discuss questions such as: is Genzyme acting unethically when averaging extremely high profit margins on drugs for rare diseases? Is the company taking advantage of the lack of pharmaceutical choices that patients have when addressing their ailments? The dialectical theory provides the framework and vocabulary for discussing, unpacking, and analyzing the complex aspects of this ethics case study. The students are taught various management strategies for dealing with dialectical tensions. Moreover, students are encouraged to think objectively and systemically in order to understand the complexities of ethical decision-making processes.
Leveraging the Dialectical Theory in Case Study Analysis: Genzyme's Ethical Dilemma,
4 J. Bus. Entrepreneurship & L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/jbel/vol4/iss2/9