Note information in case is time sensitive, so some of the material may be outdated.
June 19, 2002
Motorola began in 1928 as the Galvin Manufacturing Company. First, they produced radios and through the years they progressed to semiconductors, computer microprocessors, high capacity telephone systems, and between 1980 to the 1990's Motorola became a world leader in cellular telephones and wireless communications. Unfortunately, 1996 through 1999 proved to be hard times for Motorola. Innovations by rivals in wireless communication decreased the demand for semiconductors and pagers, and the Asia crisis put stress on Motorola, which led to reorganization in 1998, and reconstruction in 1999.
Since companies' creation, Motorola's two key beliefs set the standard for its employees' actions. These beliefs are constant respect for people and uncompromising integrity. The company also considered trust to be its competitive advantage. As Motorola developed into a global company it still aimed to uphold its ethical principles.
However, the company realized that its values were contradictory to how business is done abroad. Motorola was committing "business suicide" by abiding to its policies in countries where bribery and other business practices, that are considered illegal in the U.S., were common and expected. To combat the clash of ethics a group of retired Motorola officers were asked to look into the status of ethics understanding and compliance around the world. They created the Motorola Ethics Renewal Process (MERP). As stated in the case study, the chief purpose of MERP was to "help Motorolians at all levels in all countries make ethically appropriate business decisions everyday and to get them to take ownership and accountability for Motorola's key beliefs and ethical values." Local, country, and regional ethics committees allowed employees to openly discuss issues surrounding Motorola's key beliefs and the code of business...