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Ethics and International Business

An upcoming meeting with your new company's chief executive officer (CEO) and other executives is a great opportunity for you to share your knowledge of potentially defective products being sold to customers. You are not sure if others are aware of this issue, and the defective products could possibly lead to serious injuries. To complicate matters, you are uncertain about your organization's ethical guidelines because none have been communicated.
How would you present this issue to the CEO, directors, and managers? What specific courses of action would you recommend with respect to internal actions and customer notification?
In the longer term, what can be done to ensure that a strong sense of business ethics permeates your company? Consider aspects of the organization's structure (such as adding an oversight function) as well as supporting policies and procedures.
Answer the following questions regarding the scenario described:

How would you effectively present the issue of potentially defective products to the CEO, other directors, and managers?
How would you specifically notify customers of such an occurrence?
What kind of internal actions would you take to prevent future problems?
What can be done to ensure that a strong sense of business ethics permeates your company?

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Some individuals who are engaged in international business transactions have reported a cultural component to ethics. You are working on opening a branch of a food distribution operation in a foreign country, and a local official suggests that a little cash would help your company get started.
Research international business and ethical standards, and answer the following questions:

In what ways can culture affect ethical standards and shape business behavior?
Is it ethical to take part in corrupt international business transactions? Legal? Explain.

Solution Preview

How would you effectively present the issue of potentially defective products to the CEO, other directors, and managers?

This is what I would do to present the issue of potentially defective products to the CEO, directors, and managers. They would need to know the pattern of what is going on with each product and show them evidence. This may mean showing them how it is a hazard to the public and what would happen if this was out on the market. Many of them will want proof, and this is one way to demonstrate what it is they are looking for in order to believe you which would prevent them from terminating you for voicing your opinion to them. One can consider using a Power Point presentation to show them the ineffectiveness of the current products and maybe bring in testimonials from customers who have used the product as well as their reaction to it.

How would you specifically notify customers of such an occurrence?

This is what one needs to do in order to notify customers of such an occurrence. Each of them will need to find out through email, regular mail and the media. The company can post it on their website if they have one up and running for the public to buy from them as well. They can go out of their way and contact the customers by telephone as well as text message each of them of the defect depending on their subscriptions with the company, and to maintain privacy; each individual who is loyal to them. Ultimately, they can get an exchange or refund of the products that are in defect, and the company will not suffer too much for it because of letting others know of the issues with each product.

What kind of internal actions would you take to prevent future ...

Solution Summary

This solution discussed two different scenarios that had ethical issues and how one can deal with them in a business setting no matter where they are located in the world.

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