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Essay on Novo Nordisk

Central Issues

After reading the ethics of offshoring: Novo Nordisk and clinical trials in emerging economies case, a significant issue would be Whether it is justice or not for Novo Nordisk to conduct the clinical trials in developing economies because ethical issues of conducting those trials have arisen for recent years. Novo Nordisk, as a leading pharmaceutical company in Europe, needs to face different stakeholders and deal with conflicts of their interests which is another critical issue. In this case, there are many types of stakeholders. Primary stakeholders will be the patients and the company. Secondary stakeholders will be government, environmental responsibility, social responsibility, social media and controlling regulatory authorities. The critical issues will be discussed with Utilitarian Approach, Hippocratic Ethics, Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership, and Principles of Ethical Leadership.


Goals-essay on Novo Nordisk 

According to the case, Novo Nordisk will keep pursuing a triple bottom line approach: environmental and social responsibility along with economic viability.


  •  To conduct the clinical trials in developing economies ethically.
  •  To balance the interest of stakeholders



  •  The process of bringing the new medicine to the market is extremely restricted by regulatory authorities, such as the EMEA-European Medicines Agency.
  •  The stages of clinical trials are time-consuming and require rigorous tests
  •  Facing the pressures from social media


Alternatives-essay on Novo Nordisk 

  1. Novo Nordisk should keep following Hippocratic ethics, scientific ethic, and taking its social responsibility as a company like Novo Nordisk has certain impact in the industry and the society.
  2. Dejgaard is better to meet with the journalist in person. This will show he take the issues and situation serious.
  3.  Novo Nordisk should accept the request of for an additional ethics approval by the Danish National Committee on Biomedical Research Ethics.

Chosen Alternative

As Novo Nordisk is a big company and have employees and departments worldwide. All actions and decisions it makes will have certain impact on the society and the industry. However, there are some pharmaceutical companies conduct trials in developing countries under allegedly unethical conditions makes the society nervous. Even Novo Nordisk always follow ethical rules and stay on its bottom line, it’s still a good chance to speak to the public that Novo Nordisk is willing to take the social responsibility and not to concern the society.


On the other hand, Novo Nordisk has done a decent job on keeping the procedure and trial running ethically. However, as the society and industry are concerned about the negative impact of unethical trials. Hence, Novo Nordisk should accept the request for an additional ethics approval by the Danish National Committee even there is no added benefit. As Milton Friedman said: “the primary social responsibility of business is to make profits”. As long as Novo Nordisk is willing to sacrifice a little, it can earn better outcomes and benefits in the future other than saving its money and time now. That says, if Novo Nordisk is willing to accept the request, it will take a great step on the stage of Moral development from stage 4 ( Maintaining the social Order) to stage stage 5 ( Social contract and individual rights) (Northouse, 2016). Dejgaard can also use the chance of meeting the journalist to express this decision to the public.


Implementation Plan Essay on Novo Nordisk 


Given that Novo Nordisk is faced with ethical concerns and concerns regarding its compliance with operating procedures and environmental standards, it requires a multifaceted implementation plan that integrates all factors and approaches of corporate social responsibility, as well as, principles of ethical leadership.

  1.     Servant Leadership: As stated by Greenleaf (1977), servant leadership has fervent altruistic ethical overtones in the manner in which it emphasizes that leaders should pay keen attention to the concerns of those they lead, as well as, a social responsibility to ensure that social injustices and inequalities are eradicated. Similarly, Novo Nordisk management should take the first initiative and lead by example in the industry by adhering to operating procedures and ethical rules.
  2.     Veneration for others: Social responsibility and ethical leadership entails approaching other individuals with valuable individual differences and a sense of their unconditional worth as asserted by Kitchener (1984). Veneration for other individuals is an intricate ethic that is similar to, but supersedes the respect that Novo Nordisk management has for its workers. As such, Anders Dejgaard, chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk should take full responsibility of meeting with the journalist in person and answering all questions honestly during the interview since the information about the firm can have a significant impact of information on the industry and the world as a whole.Essay on Novo Nordisk
  3.     Social justice: A key pillar of corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership is social justice or fairness. According to Rawls (1971), concern with issues of justice and fairness is necessary for all individuals and entities that are cooperating together to promote common interests. Thus, it is only through just and fair treatment of people and institutions that Novo Nordisk will form formidable relationships with various independent review boards at discordant sites, regulatory authorities and the Danish National Committee on Biochemical Research Ethics.
  4.     Community Building: A firm that takes into contemplation the purposes of every individual involved in its operations and pays attention to the interests of the community is said to be ethical and socially responsible. Novo Nordisk should enhance its community building efforts through its local committees in order to build a good reputation with the society and avoid getting recurrent requests for additional ethics approval by the Danish National Committee on Biochemical Research Ethics.



Greenleaf, R. (1977). Servant leadership. New York: Paulist Press.

Kitchener, K. (1984). Intuition, Critical Evaluation and Ethical Principles: The Foundation for Ethical Decisions in Counseling Psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 12(3), 43-55. doi: 10.1177/0011000084123005

Northouse, P. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications.

Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Boston: Harvard University Press.