Ethical difficulties faced by multinational companies in today's business world

Essay by cherylchenUniversity, Master's October 2004

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1.0 Introduction

Multinational corporations (MNCs) are corporations that "own or control production or service facilities outside the country in which they are based."(United Nations, 1973, P. 23) The rise of Globalisation has forced and enabled more companies to venture abroad in order to thrive for more profitability: bigger market, cheaper raw materials, and lower labour costs. However, MNCs have also noticed that the more countries they enter, the more ethical issues appear. At best, even when MNCs are dealing with one only one culture, they are already facing ethical difficulties; as they encounter two or more different cultures, it would become extremely problematical. Hence, multi-national corporations (MNCs) face more challenges than ever before in the cultural contexts and different countries they operate due to different ethical and moral standards among different countries. Hence, MNCs are often under a dilemma with ethical difficulties when operating in different countries.

Successful MNCs require stability for development, and to resolve ethical difficulties is one of the key issues that could affect such stability, this is the focus of this assignment: first, it will explain the ethical difficulties multinational business encounter while operating in several countries; followed by the general principles required to resolve such ethical problems; lastly, an example of such a problem to illustrate the application of principles to resolve problems in real situations.

2.0 Ethical difficulties faced by multinational companies in other countries

According to Robert Solomon (Solomon in Hartman, 2005, P.171), "Ethics is a matter of ethos, participation in a community, a practice, a way of life. Business ethics is a function of the business ethos." McNeil and Pedigo (2001) suggested that business ethics is the fundamental part of the decision-making process within an organisation. In reality, we could observe that the ethical problems seem to be...