To Pull the Bottles or Not? Short-term Financial Pain versus Long-term Uncertainty
In April 2008, small particles of glass were discovered during a quality control check at Boston Beer Company’s Cincinnati brewery. This problem was traced to defective glass in bottles which came from a supplier that provided Boston Beer Company with about one quarter of its bottles. It was unknown if the glass was large enough to cause any health or safety issues, but the leaders of Boston Beer were nonetheless concerned. Hence, the company faced one of its biggest management challenges. The glass in the bottles dilemma required the CEO to consider numerous viable options that were consistent with management concerns about public safety, the financial sustainability of the company, the company culture, and his own ethical values in his final decision.