Ethical Dilemma

Topics: Ethics, Russia, Organizational studies Pages: 5 (1565 words) Published: April 26, 2008
Ethical Dilemma
International OB: Managing across Cultures.
3M tries to make a difference Russia

Should 3M export its American ethical standards to Russia?

1. If 3M doesn’t like the way things are done in Russia, it shouldn’t do business there. Explain your rationale.
I do not agree with this statement. From my marketing perspective, it is a challenge of 3M in order to go worldwide, and this is a challenge they should take. Russia is booming in oil and gas, mining, construction, IT, retail, and service sectors. (Klumov, 2006). 3M should realize its company is a world leader in a wide range of business areas industrial and office market telecommunication, traffic control materials, and many others (, 2008). Therefore, I don’t think it is a hard job for 3M to do business in Russia. A ton of 3Mproducts could supply to the Russia local market needs.

According to the Organization Behavior (OB) concerns, American and Russia culture are different, but they have some similarities. Both countries are multi-ethnic, continental, great powers, expansionists, tamed a wilderness, and settled by a variety of diverse groups. The countries both think “Big” are energetic and inventive. (Richmond and Goehner, 1998).

Another supporting that doing business in Russia is possible is the results of research of Mikhail Gratchev, 1996 CPE Ethics Fellow, (1999). He found, there were certain similarities in ethical perceptions regarding corporate activities. For example, in calling in sick in order to take a day off, in using company time for non-company benefits, and even in divulging confidential information to parties external to the firm. One third of Russian respondents and one-fifth of Americans mentioned it was ethical to use company services for personal use (p. 8).

In short, 3M should do business in Russia. It will not be easy at the beginning, but in the long run, success is just around the corner.
2. 3 M should do business in Russia but not meddle in Russian culture. “When in Russia, do things the Russian way.” Explain your rationale.
In my opinion, cultural adaptation is the better way to do business in foreign countries. In this situation, 3M cannot avoid “meddling” in Russian culture because before using cultural adaptation, the company should study and understand Russia culture. In this regard, conflict will decrease when one culture face with one another culture.

In Chapter Four: International OB: Managing across Cultures. Kreitner and Kinichi (2007) mentioned, “American expatriates are troubled by personal and family adjustment problems and homesickness. A great deal of money is wasted when expatriates come home early. More extensive cross-cultural training is needed, and there is no one best way to manage across cultures. Management theories and practices needed to be adapted to the local culture” (p. 131). With these reasons, 3M should understand Russia culture before, during, and even after doing the business in this country.

Russian culture is on the “high-context” end of the continuum. They are based on extensive, integrated informational relationships and networks among family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. They are obsessed by their past and often make an idol of their history. If 3M makes relationships with them, the company cannot ignore their history. Everything is contextualized by shared history, shared experience, shared kinship, shared friendship, shared enmities, and/or shared prejudices (Carlson, 2007, p. 5).

As stated in the case, I can tell, Russia has the collectivist culture. This country’s severe climatic conditions have also meant that co-operation and collaboration, rather than competition, has been vital for survival. This sense of togetherness is one of the traits that distinguish Russians from Americans. Also, the corruption is the personality of Russian business environment.

I found the example that aimed at helping Americans to do business in Russia (Fey, 2007)...
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