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英国paper代写-China's Milk Powder Scandal

2018-02-07 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:Paper代写范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的paper代写范文- China's Milk Powder Scandal,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了中国奶粉丑闻。2008,中国发生了一次重大的食品安全事故。起因是很多食用三鹿奶粉的婴儿被发现患有肾结石,后来调查发现三鹿奶粉中含有三聚氰胺。这个全国性的丑闻其本质上是就是因为企业道德的问题,他们考虑的只有成本和利润,这是非常错误的思想。为了避免再次出现这种情况,中国应该建立更好的法律机制,尤其是对食品安全的监管。

Milk Powder Scandal,奶粉丑闻,论文代写,essay代写,paper代写

Abstract: China's milk powder scandal broke out in 2008. Major dairy brands in China were exposed with contamination of melamine substance. This ethical failure of the whole industry aroused worldwide attention to China's food safety. Taking the primary dairy company Sanlu Group for example, this essay analyzes the root issues of the ethical failure using the toxic triangle and available professional literature.


Nine years ago in China, about 300,000 people were sick and at least six died because all of them had consumed contaminated milk powder. This event led to world-wide investigations on China's dairy products. It was revealed that melamine was added to the dairy products of many well-known dairy brands in China. The melamine substance increased the measurement of calcium in dairy products. Milk powder were the primary among all contaminated products, then liquid milk, sugar, baking powder, etc.

This nationwide scandal was in essence a corporate ethical failure. As people around the world condemned the involved companies, it would be too simple to attribute to only unethical leadership of these companies. Taking primarily involved Sanlu Group for example, the root issues of the corporate ethical failure were: 1. Unethical leaders in the corporate; 2. Followers ignoring social responsibility; 3. China's ineffective food safety legislation, regulation, supervision.

Padilla and colleagues' toxic triangle argues that destructive and unethical leaders are not enough for corporate ethical failure. Padilla et al. developed the concept of the toxic triangle--"a confluence of leader, follower, and environmental factors that make destructive leadership possible" (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.176). Padilla et al. analyzed why destructive leader, susceptible follower, and conducive environments contribute to destructive leadership This essay uses Padilla and colleagues' toxic triangle to analyze the root issues of the corporate ethical failure.

Unethical leaders in the corporate-destructive leader in the toxic triangle

Investigations of Chinese government showed the management of Sanlu Group was fully aware of the melamine added to the dairy products, yet they allowed and even encouraged such behaviors. Such moves largely cut the costs for production and thus generated more income for people of interests, especially the management. Even the scandal began to surface, Sanlu tried to cover it with money instead of taking measures to control the damages. Ethics is what tells constructive from destructive charismatic leaders (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.181). Unethical leaders, or destructive leaders in Sanlu Group used their power for personal gain, while damaging newborn babies all around the country. Destructive leaders are those who violate the interests of a company by making negative impacts on the company's targets, tasks, resources (Einarsen, & Aasland, & Skogstad, 2007).

Padilla, Hogan, and Kaiser's research gives five characteristics destructive leaders have, charisma, personalized need for power, narcissism, negative life themes and ideology of hate.


Charisma is a typical personality for destructive leaders (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.180). It is because charismatic leaders can influence people with their excellent rhetorical skills by creating a vision and warning people of potential threats. This point can be proved by the destructive leaders in human history, Hitler, Stalin, etc. Most of the destructive leaders in history were appealing public speakers. Padilla (2007) thinks charismatic leaders might not be destructive, but still dangerous. Tian Wenhua, the former chairwoman of Sanlu Group, was given a lot of honorary titles for her innovations in technology and the economic values generated by Sanlu Group. Leadership that is inspirational and transformational is charismatic leadership (House & Howell, n.d.). Tian Wenhua could be considered charismatic with all the innovations and breakthroughs of the company she led over her life.

Personalized need for power

Padilla (2007) thought that personalized need for power was a personality that partly made up a destructive leader. The Sanlu management group seeking for profit by illegal means could be seen as a need for power indeed. Because to make more money, the group would gain more control of the market by expanding the scale of the group. Leaders all seeking power but are distinguished by personal and socialized power (McClelland, 1970, 1975). The leaders of Sanlu were apparently seeking personal power which was detrimental to the society.

A more unethical act of the management of Sanlu was paying Baidu, the most popular language search engine in China, to screen all the negative news and information. They did not think about recalling their poisoning products and warning people about the damages. Instead, they wished to make all their unethical behaviors secretly go away and keep expanding their personal power.

Negative life themes

Without saying, negative life themes were part of the personality of the Sanlu management. The managerial level did what should not be done to gain more power and money, despite the huge damages to other human. Their life themes, which focused on power and money, were negative, harmful to the group and the society. Many studies prove that the attitude of adults towards life was a continuum of childhood theme. This might explain the negative life themes of the destructive leaders of Sanlu Group.


There are other characteristics of destructive leaders analyzed by Padilla that could not be proved by available literature, such as narcissism, and ideology of hate. For this reason, this essay focuses more on the other two major parts of the toxic triangle that caused ethical failure, susceptible followers and conducive environments, especially the latter.

Destructive leaders are likely to have charisma, personalized needs for power, narcissism, negative life history, and an ideology of hate. Whether leadership succeeds or fails depends on team results, and team results require more than just leaders and their personality and actions (Thoroughgood&Padilla, n.d., p.145). As we can see in reality, destructive leaders need followers and a certain context to gain power. That is why this essay now moves to susceptible followers and conducive environments.

Followers ignoring social responsibility -susceptible follower in the toxic triangle

Before the scandal, adding melamine substance to dairy products in China had become an open secret in the dairy industry. The action of adding melamine to dairy products was not actually executed by the leaders, but the followers, which were staff in Sanlu group and the local government officials who allowed such practice. Every leader has at least one follower (Kellerman, 2007, p.84).

In the theory of toxic triangle, Padilla, Hogan, and Kaiser's research describes six causes for followers to obey the will of destructive leaders, unmet basic needs, negative core self-evaluations, low maturity, ambition, congruent values and beliefs and unsocialized values (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.183).

Unmet basic needs

These staff benefited from the execution of orders from the management differently. The lowest level of the hierarchy, such as factory workers, might have unmet basic needs. Unmet basic needs was the first cause Padilla came up for susceptible followers. It has been proved that poor people living in fear and with unmet needs are easier to control (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.183). As China had large amount of labor force, factory workers earned the lowest salary and always tried to work overtime for more income. In the case of adding melamine substance to dairy products, the unmet basic need for factory workers was not enough household income.

Negative core self-evaluations

Other types of people followed the destructive leaders of Sanlu Group. According to Padilla, self-esteem, locus of control and self-efficacy form core self-evaluations (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.183). Self-esteem decides whether a person appreciates the value as a human being. Self-efficacy shows how well a person thinks he or she can perform at work. External or internal locus of control means whether a person believes the external factor or the person has control of his or her life. According to Padilla, low self-esteem, low self-efficacy and external locus of control contribute to negative core self-evaluation, thus leading to becoming followers of destructive leaders (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.183). We could not deny the existence of the group with negative core self-evaluation. And we could suppose the followers of Sanlu group had negative core self-evaluation since they would benefit themselves by damaging other humans and the society.

Low maturity

Low maturity was another reason people would follow destructive leaders in Sanlu group. Less mature people are more inclined to follow authority and to participate in destructive acts (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.184). As the less mature people are unaware of the facts, they might already do things which hurt others. The followers of the destructive leaders in Sanlu Group were less mature and incapable of opposing the unethical leaders.


Ambitious goals were pursued by followers too. Even though destructive leadership of Sanlu Group damaged the society and its people, some ambitious followers might still get the benefits of money and power from following destructive leaders. The followers did whatever to achieve their goals, including conducting illegal production and lying to consumers and the government. Not only staff of Sanlu Group, but also government officials benefited from their "ambitions". According to investigations of Chinese government, local officials did not allow the disclosure of the milk powder scandal. The Shijiazhuang government showed supportfor local businesses"by sitting on Sanlu's report for morethan a month" (Fu, n.d., p.13). Local officials could be seen as followers as they chose their ambitious goals of power and probably money over the people.

Congruent values and beliefs

People might share the same values and beliefs of the destructive leaders in Sanlu Group. The commonness were likely the cause for the followers to join the group (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.185). These people were happy and active to collude with the destructive leaders. The followers ignored social responsibility, which was not part in the value and belief. According to research, destructive leadership will have negative relationships with positive group-related concepts and positive relationships with negative group-related concepts (Schyns & Schilling, 2013, p.143). From Schyns & Schilling's research, we can see destructive leaders conflict with positive group-related concepts. The damages are even larger when followers share destructive leaders' values and beliefs.

Unsocialized values

Padilla (2007) suggests as followers concern about their own benefits, when the followers have unsocialized values such as indulgence and egoism, they are more likely to execute the orders destructive leaders.


Among the six types of followers, we can divide the followers of Sanlu Group into two categories, conformers and colluders (Padilla, 2007,p.185). Conformers were too weak to act against the destructive followers of Sanlu Group for lack of security and maturity. Colluders obey the destructive followers of Sanlu Group because they may acquire personal gain.

China's ineffective food safety legislation, regulation, supervision - conducive environments in the toxic triangle

Last, but not least, a certain environment is more likely to nurture toxic events. The dark leadership acts as a function of the situation (Luthans, Peterson & Ibrayeva, 1998, p. 190) Padilla's research shows that four environmental factors are mostly considered for the toxic triangle, instability, perceived threat, cultural values and absence of checks and balances and institutionalization (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.185).


A period of instability provides chances for destructive leaders to restore order, thus gaining personal power. Not only destructive leader are able to exploit the instability of environment, they can also seek personal gains through a highly ordered yet closed system which is not open for scrutiny (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.185). The latter applies to the case of Sanlu Group. Due to the lack of effective scrutiny, the destructive leaders of the group were able to implement unethical orders.

Perceived threat

In the case of contaminated milk powder, the perceived "threat" could be the competitive environment of the dairy industry in China. The investigations showed dairy contamination was across the whole industry, not just among several famous brands. According to Padilla, actual threat does not necessarily have to exist. When people perceive such threat, a conducive environment exists. Destructive leaders might create the threat by themselves to show their authority and motivate followers towards a specific direction.

Cultural Values

Padilla's research (2007) shows that certain social conditions are more likely to shape leadership. Traditional oriental culture emphasizes cooperation and loyalty to the group, which is defined as "collective" by Hofstede (1991). Collective groups are keen to avoid uncertainty and look for strong leaders which provide hope group identity for them (Padilla, et al., 2007, p.186). Back when the scandal broke out, China was also a country which had large disparities in wealth distribution. According to Padilla (2007), in collective groups where exist large gap between rich and poor, followers are more tolerant and more likely. People carried out unconscionable orders and at last make peace with the reality (Kellman & Hamilton, 1989). The Chinese followers involved in the dairy scandal eventually accepted the reality too.

Absence of checks and balances and institutionalization

The absence of checks and balances in this case is the ineffective food safety legislation, regulation, supervision in China. There is no In 2008, dairy products from 22 dairy companies were tested positive by AQSIQ (China), in which some milk products came from famous brands granted by the government, such as Mengniu and Yili (Chen, 2009, p1). Before the scandal broke out, there was only one relevant law called The Food Hygiene Law of the People's Republic of China. The penalty for violation was very low, ranging from "not less than 1000 yuan and not more than 50,000 yuan" when no damages have been found (Chen, 2009, p8).

In this case, the whole industry was conducting illegal production and cheating consumers worldwide. People inevitably believe the law would not punish each one involved. And the truth proved them right. Only a limited number of major criminals were arrested.

Although China had promulgated many laws and regulation in these years, Dong and Jensen (2007) pointed out that standards were outdated and fell behind international level. Food safety at first stood out in China as a trade issue in the beginning of the 21st century, but it has now become a critical domestic issue" (Wang, Maoa, and Gale, 2008)


Conducive environments are essential for destructive leaders to achieve power. Similarly, destructive leaders and susceptible followers could thrive in conducive environments. China's lack of effective checks and balances served as the main cause in the conducive environmental category for the ethical failure of Sanlu Group.


By analyzing the root issues of the ethical failure of Sanlu Group, we can see destructible leaders, susceptible followers and conducive environments form a toxic triangle which in turn accelerates the ethical failure. In the case of Sanlu Group, besides destructible leaders and susceptible followers, ineffective checks and balances in China were the most contributing factor. To avoid another ethical failure, China should establish better mechanism for checks and balances, especially for state-owned companies where centralized power often exists.


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