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Ethics and Social Responsibility

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics and Social Responsibility"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics and Social Responsibility
Chapter Three Ethics and Social Responsibility McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2 Ethics and Social Responsibility
The specific objectives of this chapter are to 1. EXAMINE ethics in international management and some of the major ethical issues and problems confronting MNCs in selected countries. 2. DISCUSS some of the pressures on and action being taken by selected industrialized countries and companies to be more socially and environmentally responsive to world problems. 3. EXPLAIN some of the initiatives to bring greater accountability to corporate conduct and limit the impacts of corruption around the world.

3 Ethics and Social Responsibility in International Management
Study of morality and standards of conduct. Dilemmas arising from conflicts between ethical standards between countries most evident in employment practices Inferring right vs. wrong in legal sense

4 Ethics and Social Responsibility in International Management
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Involves the voluntary actions of a firm to benefit society beyond requirements of law and direct interests of firm Closely related to ethics CSR concerns include working conditions in factories and service centers as well as environmental impacts of corporate activities

5 Ethics Theories and Philosophy
Kantian philosophical traditions Individuals have responsibilities based on a core set of moral principles that go beyond those of narrow self-interest. Aristotelian virtue ethics Focus on core, individual behaviors and actions and how they express and form individual character. Utilitarianism Favors the greatest good for the greatest number of people under a given set of constraints. Eastern philosophy Views the individual as part of rather than separate from nature.

6 Human Rights Human rights issues challenge MNCs
Currently no universally adopted standards for what is acceptable behavior A great deal of subjectivity and culturally biased viewpoints exist Some basic rights: life, freedom from slavery or torture, freedom of opinion and expression, general ambiance of nondiscriminatory practices Human rights violations still rampant globally Tiananmen Square and apartheid Women’s rights

7 Ethics and Social Responsibility Around the World: JAPAN
Equal opportunity issues Refusal to hire women or promote them into management positions Hostile work environment Traditional role of females and female employees Sexual harassment may not be considered a moral issue

8 Ethics and Social Responsibility Around the World: EUROPE
Equal employment opportunity Glass ceiling pervasive throughout the world France, Germany, Great Britain have seen increase in number of women in management, but tend to represent only lower levels

9 Labor, Employment and Business Practices
Difficult to establish a universal foundation of employment practices Difficult dilemmas in deciding working conditions, expected consecutive work hours, and labor regulations Offshoring due to differences in labor costs

10 Ethics and Social Responsibility Around the World: CHINA
Workers not well paid Often forced to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week 2010 factory worker suicides Human rights violations Use of child labor

11 Environmental Protection and Development
Countries approach the issue of conservation of natural resources differently Poor countries are more focused on improving the welfare of their citizens rather than improving the environment Environmental Kuznets Curve Many companies violate laws and jeopardize the environment 2010 BP Gulf explosion

12 The Environmental Kuznets Curve

13 Globalization and Ethical Obligations of MNCs
Should the MNC adopt the regulations in the country of origin or those in the country of operation? “Doing the right thing” is not always easy Levi Strauss in Bangladesh

14 Reconciling Ethical Differences across Cultures
Integrative Social Contracts Theory Helps companies avoid relativism versus absolutism Gives managers a framework to use when they face a gap between the moral and ethical values in the home country and in the host country Corporate Social Responsibility Sustainability Development that meets humanity’s needs without harming future generations

15 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Nongovernmental organization (NGO) Private, not-for-profit organization that seeks to serve society’s interests by focusing on social, political, and economic issues such as poverty, social justice, education, health and the environment. NGOs have grown in number, power, influence NGOs have urged MNCs to be more responsive to range of social needs in developing countries NGO activism has caused major changes in corporate behavior NGOs have been active in promoting fair trade products

16 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
NGOs in U.S. and globally Save the Children Oxfam CARE World Wildlife Fund Conservation International

17 Corporate Response to Social and Organizational Obligations
Agreements and codes of conduct committing MNCs to maintain certain standards U.N. Global Compact Codes help offset real or perceived concern that companies move jobs to avoid higher labor or environmental standards in their home markets Contribute to raising of standard in developing world by exporting higher standard to local firms in these countries

18 Principles of the Global Compact
Human Rights Labor Environment Anti-Corruption

19 Principles of the Global Compact

20 Corporate Governance Corporate governance
The system by which business corporations are directed and controlled. Distribution of rights and responsibilities Stakeholder management Spells out rules and procedures Makes decisions Becoming more important after numerous scandals Arthur Anderson, Enron, UnitedHealthcare

21 Corporate Governance Many continental European countries are “insider” systems Ownership more concentrated Shares owned by holding companies, families or banks Rules and regulations differ among countries and regions U.K. and U.S. systems are “outsider” systems Dispersed ownership of equity Large number of outside investors

22 Corruption Corruption
Government corruption is a pervasive element in international business environment Scandals in Russia, China, Pakistan, Lesotho, South Africa, Costa Rica, Egypt and elsewhere Some evidence that discontinuing bribes does not reduce sales of the firm’s products or services in that country

23 Selected Countries Ranked in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index

24 Global Initiatives to Increase Accountability and Limit Corruption
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it illegal for U.S. companies and their managers to attempt to influence foreign officials through personal payments or political contributions “Entertainment” expenses “Consulting” fees Organization of American States Inter-American Convention Against Corruption Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

25 Corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Recent formal agreement by many industrialized nations to outlaw the practice of bribing foreign government officials Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 29 members plus several other countries have signed on Fails to outlaw most payments to political party leaders Does indicate growing support for anti-bribery initiatives

26 International Assistance
Governments and corporations are collaborating to provide assistance to communities and locales through global partnerships Best “investments” Controlling and preventing AIDS Fighting malnutrition Reducing subsidies and trade restrictions Controlling malaria

27 Copenhagen Consensus Development Priorities

28 The U.N. Millennium Development Goals

29 Review and Discuss What lessons can U.S. multi-nationals learn from the political and bribery scandals in recent years, such as those affecting contractors doing business in Iraq as well as large MNCs such as Siemens, and HP? Discuss two. How do ethical practices differ in the United States, and in European countries such as France and Germany? What implications does your answer have for U.S. multinationals operating in Europe? Why are MNCs getting involved in corporate social responsibility? Are they displaying a sense of social responsibility, or is this merely a matter of good business? Defend your answer.

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