David Klein’s story addresses ethical, moral, and philosophical theories that took place in the candy business. Klein actions can be viewed as the Divine Command Theory. This theory states that morality is based on something higher that mundane human events. He considered how we ought to behave, what is best for society and individuals alike. Even when he created Jelly Belly, his actions were not selfish, and he continually acted in a manner that best suited others over himself. This opened the door for Goelitz Candy Co. In Northern CA to buy out Klein against his own wishes. The ethical theory associated with this company is ethical egoism, focusing on the self-interest and selfishness that coincides with this theory.
Klein was essentially exploited because of the trademark of Jelly Belly. Taking over the legal right to own the trademark essentially meant that the owner had the right to Jelly Belly. “Leasing” it to Klein for around 65,000 a year was unethical and almost a means of blackmail. Because of the failure to disclose that this “lease” of the trade mark was and annual fee, they relinquished their rights to receive continual compensation once that dollar amount was reached. The decision was not legally able to be overturned because of Klein’s failure to utilize a lawyer. The contract was met so revisions would have essentially violated the said contract.
The entire existence of Klein seemed to have been based on coercion. Klein was a kind-hearted and considerate individual which opened the door for exploitation. His partners were the worst. They wanted to take over the business knowing the potential revenue associated. There is no way to truly determine if the current Jelly Belly Corporation is operating with the same ethical and moral consideration that Klein used. According to their mission statement, “Jelly Belly is committed to conducting business with ethical business standards and asks its vendors, suppliers and licensees to conduct themselves in the same manner.” (Jelly Belly, 2013)
Goelitz Candy Co. used tactics much like any business trying to captivate the market. Goelitz secured the trademark of Jelly Belly ensuring they had ownership rights. Wal-Mart and other large companies use the same tactic of sorts. Dominating the market by securing the best price and product over any competitors. Signing contracts for exclusive rights and other tactics secure the success of their success. Klein’s code of ethics could be described as selfless. Even though his own son did not quite understand the depth of what happened with Jelly Belly, he knew that he enjoyed making others happy. Essentially that was his entire purpose. Klein was devastated by the events and it took him a lot of time to get over this event. But he picked himself up and moved on to other endeavors. Currently he is still making candy and helping his daughter bring to life a candy creation as well. Jelly Belly Candy Company is still dominating the Jelly Bean Market and continually making new flavors.