Related Articles


Related Categories


Recently Added


Join Today

It's always free and anyone can join!

Watch StudyUp Demo Video Now

Business Ethics Case Studies

Margaret Said:

See the Multimedia activity on Ethics in International Business. ?

We Answered:

Facilitation or Bribery: Cultural and Ethical Disparities

Geletex, Inc., is a U.S. Telecommunications corporation attempting to expand its operations worldwide. As Geletex begins its operations in other countries, it has discovered cultural, governmental, and ethical standards that differ significantly from country to country and from those in the United States. Geletex has had a code of ethics for its U.S. operations since 1975. The company’s director of compliance, Jed Richardson, provides ongoing training for employees, runs a hotline through which employees can reports problems and is well known and respected throughout the company for his high standards and trustworthiness.

As Geletex’s International operations grow, Jed is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with what appear to be double standards for the company’s U.S. operations and its operations in other countries. Jed, who has been traveling to each of the Geletex International offices, has found the following situations, which since have been causing him some sleepless nights:

* In the Lima, Peru, office, Jed, in reviewing financial records, discovered that the commissions expense for the branch is unusually high. Geletex pays its salespeople commissions for each commercial customer they recruit for cellular or long-distance services. Jed knows from experience that some companies pay unusually high sales commissions to disguise the fact that salespeople are paying kickbacks in exchange for contracts. In the United States, such payments would be commercial bribery and a violation of Geletex’s code of ethics. When Jed confronted the Lima, Peru, district manager and questioned him about the high commissions, he responded, “Look, things are different down here. We’ve got a job to do. If the company wants results, we’ve got to get things moving any way we can.”

* In the Stockholm, Sweden, office, Jed noted a number of college-age student employees who seemed to have little work to do. Again, Jed questioned the district manager, who responded, “Sure, Magnus is the son of a telecommunications regulator. Caryl is the daughter of a judge who handles regulatory appeals in the utilities. Andres is a nephew of the head of the governing party. They’re bright kids, and the contracts don’t hurt us. In the Scandanavian culture, giving jobs to children is part of doing business.”

* In the Bombay, India, office, Jed noted that many different payments had been made to both the Indian government and government officials.
When Jed voiced his concern, the district manager responded, “I can explain every payment. On this one, we needed the utilities {water and electricity} for our offices turned on. We could have waited our turn and had no services for ninety days, or we could pay to get moved to the top of the list and have our utilities turned on in forty-eight hours. On the check for licensing, again, we could have waited six months to get licensed or pay to expedite it and be licensed.”

Jed is an expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). However, Jed is unsure about Geletex’s International operations and compliance with the law. He is very unsure about Geletex having an international code of ethics.

Manuel Said:

i need to find a topic for a business ethics paper?

We Answered:

Something to do with the treatment of employees. Like how treating employees well does or does not increase revenue.

Ashley Said:

A case study question: is this good business ethics?

We Answered:

PBS is not a television network in the commercial sense of the term. If any local PBS station got wind of this happening, they would certainly cancel their subscription to the show, which they have the right to do. suppose a child in their town lost out in the contest, how would they explain the "ethics" to the parents?

the series would not be renewed by PBS for another season. and your 'free' puppets will probably cost hundreds of thousands in future production value.

Martin Said:

Is DuPont’s genetic screening test justifiable? Why? Please use one of the?

We Answered:

Well, if you had the sickle cell trait and could work in an environment in which there were no dangers as opposed to working in an environment in which chemicals could trigger the disease - wouldn't you want to avoid health difficulties?

If such chemicals exist, and the side-effects were known to affect people in such a way - not screening or offering it to employees could result in liability which I'm sure a company of DuPont's size would seek to avoid.

The sickle cell trait is a mutation that provides benefit to the host in malarial environments. It should be offered to anyone, black or white, who's ancestry includes individuals with the mutation.

There are a host of other screening devices - please read the report below - sickle cell screening is just one of many offered.

John Said:

In accounting what are special purpose entities?

We Answered:

Those are shell corporations created specifically to shield certain assets from any litigation, etc that the company might face. The most legal way it is used is for a company that is coming out with a bond backed by a specific asset. In order to get the bond a higher rating (and therefore a lower interest rate), the issuing company will create a SPE to hold the asset and keep it separate from the rest of the company while still using it in operations or whatever it is part of through leasing etc. Enron I think used these SPEs to hold debt, as in they actually stuck negative capital into them in order to keep excessive debt off the balance sheet. You may have to check that, I'm not positive about it.…

**To add to the below answer, you have to own exactly 50% of another entity to be required to hold it on your balance sheet. Even a 49.5% stake would keep it off the financial statements.

Fernando Said:

Is the North Texas Toyota Dealers Association’s lawsuit justifiable against micheal irvin?

We Answered:

Morality is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. Maybe Michael doesn't consider the drug charge to be a matter of morals, rather it might be that he views the charge as purely a legal consideration..... Remember in large parts of the world, recreational drug use is considered acceptable.

Discuss It!