Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review Berry C. Miller Organizational Ethics and Social Responsibility (Axia)/XMGT216 July 11, 2010 Frank Czarny Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review Managers and leaders of companies conducting business internationally face many ethical and moral issues. When companies conduct business with other nations many dilemmas may occur because of ignorance of the other nation’s customs and beliefs. Understanding the customs and beliefs of countries will improve the relationship between the individuals and teams conducting business.
The best way to ensure improved success is to have the most experienced team members conducting the business with the other nation’s most experienced personnel. This ensures the business relationship will flow smoothly and will be more productive without insulting each nation. Managers must rely on the strengths of their company and know what the best method to conduct business is and how to obtain the most out of the work performed. All companies that conduct international business make every effort to minimize ethical and moral issues.
Convergence and Divergence in International Business Ethics National groups or companies are made of different multilevel functions consisting of unique ethical positions. Two types of theory conditions exist: norm and degree community inclusion that determines convergence instead of divergence as it relates to ethical viewpoints (Bailey & Spicer, 2007). Russian and American survey results demonstrate comparable systems as both nations relate to ethical situations. Although Russian and American differences were evident in the past, the ethical reactions were similar.
Throughout the business process each country must make all efforts to work together for the best of their nation. Local social beliefs seem to influence the manner in which decisions are made and implemented. Different ways of conducting business while implementing ethical restraint may occur even though the countries maintain their own cultural individuality. Countries will always differ in the way ethical and moral philosophies are taught and put into action. Russia and the United States have distinct methods of carrying out business, which change based on the individuals involved with the business transactions.
Although each country works together with the intent of successfully representing their country in business, basic ethical and moral actions and beliefs remain in effect in most cases even when society influences are different. The leaders or managers of each country must make efforts to separate their individual thoughts and beliefs from the influences brought about by representing their country and what is in the best interest of the country. Business Ethics versus Personal Ethics At times it is difficult to separate business ethics and personal ethics and morality.
Social beliefs and demands placed on business within a country and the business conducted outside of that country normally become a high point of interest. Russian society and its beliefs sometimes influence the national leaders and business leaders especially when dealing with countries that still may not fully trust the actions of the country. Economic systems in place at this time did not exist in the past. The Russian society currently allows change because it was evident over so many years that the nation must change and join with other nations if they were to be successful and survive.
Although it seems the Russian society has more of an influence on the ethical and moral beliefs of its leaders, the United States’ society also has much influence on the ethical and moral beliefs demonstrated by national leaders. A community of individuals will always have differences of opinions about how their leaders should represent them ethically and morally. Leaders always face challenges in how they interpret and implement the beliefs of the societal-level communities. This community influence ensures the leaders listen to the ethical and moral beliefs of the people.
Leaders or managers can be more effective if they take into consideration the effects of their decisions as they relate to social influences. Ethical Attitudes and Behaviors Ethical attitudes and behaviors will be different depending on the location of the manager. For example, managers in the United States will react differently from an American manager located in Russia. The local society influences occurring in both the United States and Russia will determine the decision(s) the manager will take. The decisions made will affect the outcome of the workload.
Another influence on ethical and moral decisions made is the culture of the nation. For example, some countries do not allow women to hold certain positions in the corporate world or conduct business with countries that do. If the United States has a corporate leader who is a woman, cultural and ethical influences may prevent the United States dealing with the other country. Problems Associated with International Marketing Many problems naturally exist when conducting business across international markets.
However, these same markets influence and affect corruption. For example, corruption is a large influence on exports to international markets from countries such as France and Japan. The success of France’s and Japan’s export business is the result of the amount of corruption in the countries of interest (Chandler & Graham, 2010). However, the corruption in these same countries of interest does not seem to have a negative effect on the international marketing achievements of the United States. The main form of corruption that influences many countries is bribery.
Because corruption is so prevalent in many countries, companies continuously must determine which international markets to invest money and time into. When business leaders look for places to invest time and money into, they must analyze several factors associated with the area of interest including economic, political, religious, and cultural influences that may exist in that country and surrounding regions. International markets inherit negative feedback because of self-imposed damaging factors such as bribery and violence.
When managers look for international markets to invest in, they must take into consideration the location, possible loss of business, and the ethical or moral hardships that may occur as a result of conducting business with the those international markets. The corruption such as bribery and violence could also cause internal issues to arise that would affect the company’s business. Managers must also address what protections or plans are need to be in place to ensure the employees. Changing Influences Bribery and violence occur in many types of markets. However, it is not always the foreign country offering the bribes or causing violence.
Although France and Japan are two countries known for bribing businesses, it is sometimes managers of American companies that offer bribes or threaten violence in efforts to improve the company’s international influence. The United States government made efforts to stop these actions by American business managers in 1977 by passing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA continues to fight companies and business managers from offering bribes to leaders of other nations. The national leaders of many countries are in positions of control and control substantial amounts of their country’s business assets.
Because bribery of foreign national leaders is such an issue around the world, countries such as the United States, Japan, and France signed on to become members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Members of this group and the United Nations came together with the intent of enforcing laws to stop bribery issues around the world. Currently Japan, France, and the United States have laws in place fighting against the continuously dangerous issue of bribery, which could ruin a company and other national relationships. Many situations exists demonstrating corruption within international business markets.
Bribery is among the most recognized form of corruption but some nations would rather ignore the issue rather than address it and possibly lose business. Conclusion Company and international leaders have difficult jobs addressing ethical and moral issues within the business relationships between themselves and individuals or multiple nations. Personnel in these positions cannot mismanage the responsibilities given to them by their country and other international influences. These individuals should make all efforts to successfully represent their nation and the company they work for. Because f their positions within their company and the international business community, leaders in all represented nations must maintain their moral and ethical strength and continue to grow unhindered and without influence from individuals or other nations by making every effort to strengthen the bonds between nations. Although the leaders of the different nations will expect members of their own countries to follow the laws and rules which are in place, the leaders must ensure they also institute moral and ethical laws and influence others to adhere to recognized and legalized laws that may strengthen relationships among nations.
References Bailey, W. , & Spicer, A. (2007). When Does National Identity Matter? Convergence and Divergence in International Business Ethics. Academy of Management Journal, 50(6), 1462-1480. Retrieved July 10, 2010 from Business Source Complete database. Chandler, J. , & Graham, J. (2010). Relationship-Oriented Cultures, Corruption, and International Marketing Success. Journal of Business Ethics, 92(2), 251-267. doi:10. 1007/s10551-009-0152-7. Retrieved July 11, 2010 from Business Source Complete database.