Analytical Essay: Business Values Away from Home
According to Richard De George (1994), "international business ethics are ambiguous and this ambiguity leads to some confusion and a number of disputes." (p. 458). International business ethics are defined not only by the business but also by the country that the business operates. The country's economic status, laws, political systems, cultures and traditions all have an impact on a foreign company's business ethics. For instance, in a country such as Japan, insider trading was not considered an unethical practice. Whereas in the United States, insider trading is not only unethical, it is also illegal and subject to prosecution. The reason why the Japanese accepted insider trading was because they felt that no one had advantages over other traders. In the United States, insider trading gives unfair advantages and is harmful to people without access to trading information. Eventually, Japan declared insider trading illegal.
Although, an American company operating abroad should be aware of local laws and traditions, the business cannot "hire child labor, even if that is the local custom, nor can it discriminate against women, or follow apartheid laws, or buy goods made by slave labor or fail to provide safe working conditions." (De George, 1994, p. 459).
Prior to its migration toward democracy, Russia's socialist economy dictated that the state owned production. "The state employed citizens, subsidized housing, provided free education and healthcare and other social benefits." (De George, 1994, p. 461). This Marxist system ensured that individuals did not have private ownership of their productivity. Russia's laws favored large companies and prohibited private ownership. Since the conversion from socialism, quantity and quality of goods has increased. Unfortunately, "wages have not kept pace with costs, unemployment is rising, and the standard of living is falling" (De George, 1994, p.