This is a real case involving an SME that produces southern hardwood finished lumber. The family business faces a social responsibility dilemma in terms of displaced workers and limited job opportunities in the surrounding labor market if they purchase a new saw that would modernize production, improve profitability, and eliminate 50 percent of their labor costs. The most logical employment for these workers would be a cutter, loader, or hauler of logs, which have been determined to be some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. This case requires students to examine the decision-making process of a modest family business in a small, cohesive community and the ramifications of these decisions, as well as issues concerning technology and production improvements, displaced workers, social responsibilities, and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees.
Welsh, Dianne H. and Rawlings, David
"Owens Sawmill: A Family Business Facing a Social Responsibility Dilemma,"
New England Journal of Entrepreneurship:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/neje/vol10/iss1/4