Topics: Ethics, Culture, Perception Pages: 2 (534 words) Published: November 18, 2013
A Theory of Shopping by Daniel Miller; Shopping, Place, and Identity by Daniel Miller; Peter Jackson; Nigel Thrift; Beverly Holbrook; Michael Rowlands

Review by: Eric Arnould

Page 104 of 104-106
What you’re describing is the clash between a corporation’s global strategy and the reality of its local operations. Somewhere far away, someone dreams up a plan and this edict is sent out to offices worldwide. While the headquarters executives may expect uniformity in how each office puts the plan into place — for introducing a new product, perhaps, or switching employees to a new computer system — typically every country’s division has its own way of doing things. Inevitably headquarters will grumble about how certain countries are slow, or too fast, or don’t comply with instructions from above.

Every company has its internal politics. Where this becomes an ethical dilemma is at the intersection of a centralised corporate strategy and local customs or mores. You need to balance the need to follow your local boss' instructions without making the head office think you're taking too long.

“Increasingly, in a globalised economy, multi-national corporations and other organisations are internalizing a ‘one size fits all’ mentality, such as global advertising campaigns, that might be at odds with what regional managers perceive could violate cultural values or sensitivities,” said business ethicist Gene Laczniak, an emeritus marketing professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Companies are generally aware of the most obvious local customs: “gift-giving in various Asian countries, the tolerance of bribery in many developing markets, the restricted role for women in parts of the Middle East, and so forth”, Laczniak said. At the same time, to streamline their own processes, companies are increasingly adopting global policies and expecting local offices to carry them out as close to identically as possible.

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