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Ethics Case Study: China

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Given the current pressures on China, Jamaica, and America expressed in the article, how would ethics play a role in decision making for financial, environmental, and cultural issues?

o How are the concepts of positive and normative economics reflected in this context?

o How do market efficiency, economizing, and the market system affect these ethical issues?

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Let us take the case of China first. Of all of the developing nations China has made the most progress of any of them (some 25% poverty reduction since 1978) and is already vying with the United States as the largest global entrepreneur. According to Schulman (2010) if you want to talk about business ethics in China, don't set yourself up as the Western expert imposing foreign models on the Chinese. According to Schulman, that was the message of Stephan Rothlin, General Secretary speaking in Beijing. The Chinese, Rothlin stated, are very open to considering ethical issues: 'They don't want to be global players, and they realize that in order to become a real global power, they have to eliminate corrupt practices'. According to Schulman, in citing Rothlin, many students at the Beijing University of International Business & Economics, are pursuing an MBA because they are frustrated by the corruption they witness.

However, according to Schulman (2010) the Chinese do not want paternalism from the West; instead, according to Schulman, in citing Rothlin, they want acknowledgement that 'they can offer something, that they can actually become a driver in the field of ethics'. According to these authors, because the Chinese are emerging as an economic powerhouse, any ethical rules they integrate into their business practices will have an impact on the whole world.

According to Schulman (2010) in citing Rothlin, "The Chinese should develop their own codes. Then the managers can identify themselves with these codes" (p. 3). Rothlin emphasizes China's own philosophical traditions when he talks about business ethics with the Chinese; he gave this example of how he discusses the problem of corruption, which often includes favoring family and cronies. According to Rothlin, as cited by Schulman, some students of China have argued that the Chinese are encouraged in such favoritism by their traditions; they point to Confucius' focus on responsibility to family, citing his admonition that a person who sees his father steal a sheep should not turn his father over to the authorities.

Let us now look at the situation in Jamaica. According to Clayton (2010) the atmosphere in corporate Jamaica is ...

Solution Summary

According to this article, the Chinese are very open to considering ethical issues; they want to be global players, and they realize that in order to become a real global power, they must eliminate corrupt practices; in addition, the Chinese do not want paternalism from the West; they want acknowledgement that they can offer something, and that they can be a driver in the field of ethics.