Organizations must never loose that we are guests in foreign countries and must conduct themselves accordingly and can survive only if successful in demonstrating to the local authorities that their presence is beneficial, hence periodic reviews and social audits should be undertaken with a view to measure monitor and report on ethics practice and compliance requirements that influence ongoing organizations activities and to recommend amendments to the code and conduct guide. Where practical, the employee’s conduct against the organizations values, which incorporate the code of ethics, should be assessed as apart of the organizations mandatory employee performance management system in order to report on fraud and other deviations from ethical behaviors. This set of core values can serve as a basic threshold for organizations operating within the international markets and that should be moral free space, which involves basing judgments upon unique circumstances in a given situation.
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Basic dilemma for HRM operating in the IM is what an HR manager should do when an employment practice is viewed as illegal or wrong in the home country, is legal and accepted in the host country example might include sex, or race in hiring and should employees be forced to obey the laws of the host country, as the saying goes when in “Rome do what the Romans do”, the question that arises is whether to refuse or follow the local rules for example Levi Strauss struggled to do business in People Republic of China because of known Human Rights issues. Several frameworks have been proposed to address business ethics in a global context but there are no simpler answers to the question of what is wrong or right ethical behavior across different cultures and values that people hold. Therefore an organization must first learn its own cultural background, create a framework of what is ethical or unethical, identify the areas of differences, understand the reasons for differences and thereafter develop mutually acceptable ethical standards.
Resolving of ethical dilemma in business is often difficult and even if an organization has a code of ethics and a culture that is committed to compliance, managers still require guidance for making ethical choices of “its is legal”, “is it balanced” or “how does it make me feel” in order to have a comfort level of a decision. Most organizations fail to reach good decisions for ethical dilemmas due to language of rationalization such as “If we do not do it, someone else will” without walking through the learning steps and following time tested guidelines. Although decision making remains culturally determined, ethical perspective of an organization often sets the tone for its operations and employees choices, that leaves a thought on ethical behavior based on the response to two questions (1) Whose interest should an organization serve and (2) To whom should an organization be responsive in order to best serve that interest.
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