Introduction to Business

Module: Global Environment

Outcome: Ethics in International Markets

What you’ll learn to do: describe ethical issues that businesses face when engaging in international markets

"Business ethics" has been in the spotlight here in the United States with increasing frequency over the past decade. Companies like Enron and WorldCom and even celebrities such as Martha Stewart have all been marked by ethical shortcomings in their business dealings. Consider the situation faced by Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Africa:

Goodyear is paying $16 million to settle allegations that two of its Africa-based subsidiaries paid bribes to win tire sales in Kenya and Angola. Goodyear failed to prevent or detect more than $3.2 million in bribes during a four-year period as the result of inadequate compliance controls at the sub-Saharan affiliates. Many of the bribes were paid in cash to employees of private companies or government-owned entities, along with other local authorities, the SEC said. The Goodyear subsidiaries allegedly recorded the payments as legitimate business expenses."[2]
How does this happen? The ethical landscape of international business is cloudy, and the diverse nature of the cultural, political, and legal systems around the globe often makes the line between ethical and unethical business practices difficult to negotiate. In this section you will learn about some of the ethical challenges and issues that businesses face in international markets.

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Global Business Ethics
  • Reading: Ethics and Corruption
  • Video: Ethics and International Standards of Behavior
  • Self Check: Ethics in International Markets

Take time to review and reflect on each of these activities in order to improve your performance on the assessment for this section.

  1. USA "Today, February 24, 2015"
  2. USA "Today, February 24, 2015"

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