Discuss the Company’s Reputation (Justified or Not) in Light of the Concept of “Managing Interdependence Around the World.” What Does It Take to Be a “Good Citizen” in Host Countries? How Well Has Coca-Cola Fared in This Regard? What Doe...

Topics: Human rights, United Nations, Coca-Cola Pages: 7 (2376 words) Published: October 1, 2008
When discussing company’s reputation in the light of the concept of managing interdependence, first we have to understand what is meant by managing interdependence. Global interdependence is a compelling factor in the global business environment creating demands on international managers to take a positive stance on issues of social responsibility and ethical behavior, economic development in host countries and ecological protection around the world (Deresky H. 2008) . A multinational corporation (MNC), whom main concern of the business is to make profit, within the confines of the law, in order to produce goods and services and serve its shareholders’ interests (Friedman M. 1962) , are also expected to anticipate and solve social needs of their host country, this is called the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of a MNC. The concept of international social responsibility includes the expectation that the MNCs concern themselves with the social and economic effects of their decision. As mentioned by, Donaldson T. (2005, 6), corporate activity should be motivated in part by a concern for the welfare of some non-owners, and by an underlying commitment to basic principles such as integrity and respect for persons . Coca-Cola had always believed that they conducted their business with responsibility and ethics. The company’s business practices were aimed at creating value at the marketplace, providing excellent working conditions, protecting the environment, and strengthening the communities in the place of operation. Commitment to quality and a code of business conduct were evolved to ensure good business practices (Coca-Cola Business Practices, 2006) . However, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) has been alleged with business misconducts in Columbia, Mexico and India which has linked the company with several charges against violation of human rights issues, business misconducts and environmental issues. These allegations against TCCC have led to several protest, boycotts and organizations formed to campaign against the misconducts of TCCC. All this criticism against TCCC has resulted in the company’s top selling product, Coca-Cola, to be given the nickname “Killer Coke”(Refer to Exhibit 4.1 ), which has links to the severe worker's and human rights violations in Columbia, where members and leaders of the Colombian union SINALTRAINAL working at coca-cola bottling factories in Colombia were found to be threatened, intimidated, tortured and killed by paramilitary squads working in collusion with factory managers and the government (Coca-Cola in Columbia, n.d.) .

The globalexchange.org forum says that TCCC is perhaps the most widely recognized corporate symbol on the planet. The company also leads in the abuse of workers' rights, assassinations, water privatization, and worker discrimination. The forum says that Coca-Cola in India destroys the local agriculture by privatizing the country's water resources. It also claims that Coca-Cola is one of the most discriminatory employers in the world, as over 2,000 African-American employees in the U.S. sued the company for race-based disparities in pay and promotions (Most Wanted, 2007) .

Coca-Cola Reputation
In Columbia
In 2001, SINALTRAINAL charged that Coca-Cola and its bottlers Panamerican Beverages (Panamaco), Bebidas y Alimentos De Uraba, and Coca-Cola Femsa, were linked to the violence against its union members in Colombia (Labor practices in Columbia, 2006) . Labor unions have filled suits against Coca-Cola, alleging that in Colombia, workers at Coca-Cola bottling plants have had their safety threatened and even been murdered by Colombian paramilitaries for trying to unionize (Coca-Cola, 2008) . A total of 8 union leaders have been murdered since 1989, and hundreds of other Coke workers have been reported tortured, kidnapped and/or illegally detained by violent paramilitaries, often working closely with plant managements (Killer Coke Casualties, n.d.) . Coca-Cola has...
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