Ethics in Complexity and Globalization
Globalization and international marketing ethical issues are allied with one another. Steady increase in globalization lead to few problems which include ethics. From 1950 to 2000, world trade expanded almost 20-fold, far outstripping world output, which grew by six and a half times. Globalization refers to the process in which different cultures, societies and economies throughout the world will be connected and integrated through by a global network of transportation, communication, trade and business. This term is sometimes referred to as a economic globalization where several economies of the nations are combined through by a foreign investments, trade, capitalization, migration and many other factors.
Codes of ethics are usually broken down into two types (or a hybrid of the two): values-based code of ethics and compliance-based code of ethics. A corporate values statement is an aspirational document which is based on underlying values or principles. It is not easy to enforce. A compliance-based code of ethics is a compliance document that emphasizes rules and written procedures, and, therefore, is easier to enforce. A hybrid consists of a statement of organizational values and how those values are to be applied. For example, because communications should reflect the ethics of the company, a code of ethics that has honesty as a core value may require that internal and external communications be truthful and respectful. The company may also require that product or service claims must be honest, straightforward and defensible. However, as with any company policy, it is important that this new code be reviewed by legal counsel before being formally incorporated into the company’s policy. Once the code of ethics policy is adopted, it must be communicated, enforced and effectively monitored. There is a natural reluctance to talk about ethics and values; however, a company can integrate discussions of ethics into decision-making, and encourage employees to raise ethical concerns. This can be done through training, providing whistleblower procedures, monitoring and rewards. Almost every company will have employees that made the correct decision in spite of the difficulty in doing so. Communicating these stories is one way to make ethics more meaningful. Employees should understand the company’s core values and why they are core values. The company should ensure that its decision-making process factors in the company’s code of ethics.
From the Utilitarianism theory point of view, every stakeholder needs to maximize benefits in light of globalization. However, the concept of globalization usually depends mostly on an individual’s viewpoint and perspective. For example, one would argue that globalization usually leads to sustainability, increased democracy and justice; however, the possibilities of insecurity, inequality, and democratic deficits are also very high in a globalized world. Evidently, world security concerns such as racism, terrorism, and violence have increased in the wake of globalization, leading to civil wars in various communities. Moreover, globalization causes creation of new crimes and violence such as computer crime, global sex tourism, and prostitution among women and children. Other effects of globalization include economic insecurity where trade and financial transactions are largely affected (Carroll, 2004). There are ecological problems associated with globalization such loss of biodiversity and global warming resulting from industrial development and increase in population growth. In addition, globalization is killing traditional cultures by influencing many companies to imitate Western cultures, thus restricting development of traditional cultures, especially in African countries. Other bad affects of globalization to humanity include economic inequalities among countries. For example, due to globalization, poor countries usually face a number of challenges in their financial sectors and cultural imperialism resulting from decolonization (Ke & Wang 2014).
In essence, we are in the historic process of becoming one world. There are precedents in which governments come to relinquish some of their sovereignty for the benefits of cooperation. Regional organization already takes place in the form of WTO and the European Union. Such groupings are likely to increase in the future because of the necessity of avoiding the chaos and suffering of the vast disparities between the haves and the have-nots, and perhaps the side effects of competition between the great economic powers. Globalization can be a great boon. It is not globalization per se, but the unfairness and damaging results from the way it is developing that is the moral and humanitarian problem. In the meantime, we need to hang on tight because there’s a rough ride ahead of us.
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