If it is ethically legal in that country, why can’t we do it?
Response to an essay for one of my classes years ago
There are two different ethical problems that I see with this Dun and Ready Company(Ferrell). One in which an employee is told to bribe a government employee in Mexico to get a building permit to go through quicker(Ferrell). Another in which the company tries to cover it up, knowing full well that they will be punished even more by the laws in the UK(Ferrell). Destroying evidence is also a problem(Ferrell), look at Enron and others.
The responsibility for this problem rests not only on Raul, the employee but also on the Dun and Ready company itself. With a global corporate structure making it harder to follow all the rules, which risks the company’s reputation if it is caught(George). The company and the employee need to be aware of the problem that will surface if breaking the rules from one country to another. Raul was a time commitment put into place by Ian and the company wanting to open the new location in Mexico(Ferrell).
It is quite significant to note that even under pressure you should not lose your ethical standards. Raul could report his boss to the UK government, I assume they have some whistleblower protections for companies, the only downside is Raul would be able to find employment in this industry. He could also have not listened to Ian and got fired for not doing his job(Ferrell), but could also not spend time in prison for being corrupt. Raul could also follow Ian’s advice and destroy evidence, which is even more criminal than just breaking an ethical code.
You need to engage the CEO in making sure the company is running ethically(George). If the CEO isn’t morally sound, you might have troubles bridging the divide when a part of the group doesn’t make the target. If achieved ethically, it is okay, but if you did unethically, it would place the company at risk. When we cross our borders into other countries, we need to be sure that we are following their rules and regulations(Donaldson).
Harvard Business Review has a good argument about how discrimination practices in a country could be perfectly okay in that country but not okay in another country(Donaldson). Which leads me to a point, on the global stage, do we have a comprehensive policy that is inclusive of as many peoples as possible? Do we try to do that in a way that makes all parties happy? There are many examples of having moral laws that are not enforced or looked over by the politicians in their own countries(Donaldson).
We saw with Enron, the housing bubble and to a certain extent our politicians who thought that they could get away with specific corrupt practices. I am not trying to bring politics into this discussion, but I feel it is relevant. Because, I don’t know the correct answer about the bridge scandal over in New Jersey, the email scandal that cost Clinton the election or even how ethical it is to be buying votes. I do know that it seems unethical to me what is laid out on paper and what I read daily about politicians, companies and even day to day events. The American people seem to have been pushing a new era of ethics, yet though we have laws on the books that are supposed to protect, sometimes we tend to overlook the problem depending on who is doing the looking(Donaldson). When we try to push our ethics on other countries, to try to modernize or catch us it hurts cultural diversity within those countries(Donaldson).
We see this with Wells Fargo today, we see this in our campaigns, and we even see this in our day to day lives. In many Latin American countries, we know kickbacks, bribes and other gifts as a norm. Also during the Olympics, a group of swimmers had to bribe officials to get out of trouble(Feigen). We go over into countries and act like their laws don’t apply to us, or we operate as if our rules don’t apply to us in different countries. I advise in the future that we don’t go to other countries and forget out ethical standards just because they lack ours. Or we ignore their moral
standards because we lack their ethics.
Donaldson, T. (2016, September/October). Values in Tension: Ethics Away from Home. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from https://hbr.org/1996/09/values-in-tension-ethics- away-from-home
Feigen, J. (n.d.). U.S. Swimmer to Give $11,000 “Donation” to Leave Brazil … Retrieved November 9, 2016, from http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/08/james-feigen- donation-brazil
Ferrell, O., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
George, B. (2008). Ethics Must Be Global, Not Local. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2008-02-12/ethics-must-be-global-not- localbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice
Investopedia. (2015). How does business ethics differ among various countries? Retrieved November 09, 2016, from http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/040715/how-do- business-ethics-differ-among-various-countries.asp
– Colorful Asylum