Code of Ethics for International Business
Employment practices of some multinational companies may cause ethical dilemmas. Many times work conditions in one nation may be inferior to conditions in another country, according to Ethics in International Business, published by McGraw-Hill. Although extremely low pay, long hours, and dangerous and unhealthy work conditions may be legal in some countries, multinational companies are obliged to consider the international community’s ethical standards. There could also be economic consequences if consumers from the company’s home country object to unethical employment practices.
When environmental regulations in a host nation are inferior to the company’s home nation, ethical dilemmas may arise. Developed nations generally have stricter regulations on pollution, toxic waste management and use of toxic materials. The multinational company may legally be allowed to operate in the host country with more emissions of pollution and toxic material. However, there could be backlash from the international community and consumers in the home country. Environmental concerns are important because pollution of the atmosphere and oceans affect the entire international community, according to Ethics in International Business.
In 1977 the United States passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which outlawed bribes to foreign government officials for business purposes, according to Ethics in International Business. In 1997, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) created the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions. The convention went into effect in 1997 and required OECD member nations to criminalize bribery of foreign officials. However, not every member state has translated the convention into domestic law.
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