Business Ethics Across Cultures

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Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review|
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Instructor |
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8/1/2010|

While researching business ethics across cultures, we discovered some of the same behaviors surrounding ethics in the United States is the same across the ocean. Outlined in this document will be the positive and negative side of business ethics. Explained will be the ethical perspective of corporate social responsibility and ethical conflicts. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) will show how a community has embraced ethical responsibility, while ethical conflicts will show the dangers surrounding unchecked ethical conduct.

First, published by Save the Children, in 2010, children of Latin America and South Asia explore corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its impact on families and communities. Boys and girls felt that companies have responsibilities in their working and business areas to promote their image as socially responsible actors in society. Companies are doing business and gaining profits by selling their product in the community. They should therefore support community development activities such as health centers, emergency response, school and recreational facilities, environmental initiatives and training facilities for the betterment of the people, especially for the children in their own community. The children also recognized the connection between society and business. Where a business needs a healthy society and work force for its growth; a healthy society in-turn needs successful companies to create jobs, increase wealth and to improve the standards of living and social conditions. For this reason businesses should care about children and children’s rights by creating social awareness on different issues such as adolescent health, education, cleanliness, balanced nutrition and so on.

To the contrary, firms in Beijing, China have been ethically compromising for what seems like centuries. One company in particular, Google, has made a stunning announcement that it might withdraw from China following its long struggle with the ethical implications of doing business there, an endeavor which has forced it to make painful concessions to its public embrace of freedom of information. Many foreign companies operating in China have to grapple with ethical dilemmas, including how to deal with pervasive corruption and where to draw the line on cultivating the political connections that can help them navigate the country's complex regulatory terrain. Companies have begun to pay the price for doing business in China. Yahoo for example, were slammed by U.S. politicians for helping Chinese police arrest and convict a Chinese journalist who used a Yahoo account to send emails overseas with contents of secret government order.

Additionally, the primary ethical perspective of China that was discussed in “Ethical Conflicts” was one of distorted views. Many foreign companies operating in China have to grapple with ethical dilemmas, including how to deal with pervasive corruption and where to draw the line on cultivating the political connections that can help them navigate the country's complex regulatory terrain. Outside companies can either take a stand against unethical behavior and run the risk of constantly being subject to crackdowns by authorities, or determine that ethics be dammed and follow the culture. Google, which hosts only a filtered version of its search engine inside China, took a different approach than other Internet companies, to try to limit the potential damage of government control of users' information. Yahoo also hosted its e-mail servers in mainland China, this resulted in the 2005 case in which Chinese journalist Shi Tao was sentenced to prison for ten years for releasing document to a democracy site after Yahoo China provided details about him to police. The country now understands the impact loosing Google and other search engines would have on Chinese internet would be huge. Changing...
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