The Challenge of Ethical Behavior

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The Challenge of Ethical Behavior in Other Countries

The requirements of day-to-day organizational performance are so compelling that there is little time or inclination to divert attention to the moral content of organizational decision-making. Morality appears to be so obscure in nature that it lacks substantive relation to performance. An effective organizational culture should encourage ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior. Unfortunately, ethical behavior may end up costing the organization.

Being unethical in any arena, especially in the international business arena, is both bad-for-business and bad for the public. Unethical behavior is bad-for-business because it reflects an erosion of principles needed for an ordered and functional modern technical society. The world's economic system should be built on a strong set of values: trust, honesty, keeping commitments, respect for others' property, and cooperation. At minimum, market place morality is a requirement for business success. An efficient market needs standards of behavior based on some level of truth and trust.

Unethical behavior is bad business because it can offend or alienate key stakeholders – especially those in the host country. These stakeholders, who are important evaluators of the organization's ethical behavior, include individual managers, peer managers, workers, general society, media, government, and, most importantly, customers and clients.

It has often been said that the only constant in life is change, and nowhere is this truer than in the business world. Over the past decade, the U.S. Corporation has been battered by foreign competition, its own out-of-date technology and out-of-touch management and, more recently a flood of mergers and acquisitions. The result has made the old way of doing business impossible. As economies shift from one system to another, positive perceptions and stakeholder support are required for success. With so many...
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