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Ethical Decision Making in International Business

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  • 0:00 Hire People With Ethics
  • 0:55 Develop an Ethical…
  • 1:34 Ethical Leadership in Action
  • 2:11 Decision-Making Process
  • 3:01 Develop Moral Courage
  • 3:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sean Kennedy

Sean has 8 years experience as a supervisor and has an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

Ethical decision making in international business varies depending on the culture of the country in which the business is located. In this lesson, we'll discuss ways to make sure ethical practices are being used in foreign countries.

Hire People With Ethics

Ethical decision making isn't an easy task for international businesses. Business ethics refers to the accepted principles of right or wrong directing the behavior of people in business. A company must know the culture of the company they are operating in to make sure their ethical practices are in line. Starting an international business begins with hiring the right people who will make ethically sound decisions. Ethics starts with management and trickles down throughout the organization.

Hiring managers that can make ethical decisions for a business will allow the company to operate in an ethical environment and make the best possible decisions for the business. Managers must employ workers that will be able to determine right from wrong. Employees will be the ones making important business decisions for the business, which is why it's essential for management to be aware of any unethical practices that occur.

Develop an Ethical Work Environment

Basically, it's the business' job to make sure training is in place to help employees determine how to make ethical decisions. It's essential for businesses to keep in mind that ethics may be different depending on the location country, and so training will have to be different too. Use training sessions to highlight areas of concern in the company, citing specific examples as often as possible. Managers must make sure employees are in a healthy work environment and are being treated fairly. Poor working conditions can affect employee morale, and could also affect how the company is viewed by the public. It is the manager's job to make sure all employees are treated ethically.

Ethical Leadership in Action

In addition to developing an ethical work environment, management must provide the best example for their employees. One way a business can make sure employees are practicing ethics is by appointing ethical officers. Ethical officers are employees that make sure people in the organization are trained to be ethically aware, that ethical considerations enter the business decision-making process, and that the company's code of ethics is followed. Ethical officers should recommend changes that need to be made for the company. They should have direct contact with people within the location country, and with management back in the home country.

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