Globalization is “the process of social, political, economic, cultural, and technological integration among countries around the world” (Luthans & Doh, 2012). It has brought both positive and negative impact on labor, equality, government, environment and culture. Ethic and social responsibility is one of the many forces brought up by globalization.
Singhapakdi et al. (2001) provide in-deep study on ethic and social responsibility issue. In the context of globalization, ethic and social responsibility have more comprehensive definition and higher demands comparing to that in its local nation. The international environment is complex, as there are no nations having exactly the same standards. In certain circumstance, fulfilling ethic and social responsibility could be large burden to international traders. In bad case scenario, ethical issue will bring negative impact, such as discriminatory atmosphere in workplace, or environment damage.
Particularly, Singhapakdi et al. mention the social responsibility of international organizations toward human rights. Some good example is given that some large international organizations have clear code of conduct for all parties they are dealing with, including suppliers, buyers, and etc, that they will not cooperate with those parties whose countries could not guarantee the basic human right.
If a company doesn’t concern ethic and social responsibility, there will be consequence. In April, a strike was occurred in Auckland New Zealand (Anthony, 2015). As Anthony reported, the strike is against zero-hour contracts of McDonald’s. Many other International fast food companies, like KFC, Burger King, etc, have ended this kind of contacts, but not McDonald’s. The staffs and many people consider this as violation of ethic and social responsibility, as this is no guarantee on employees’ benefit.
Hence, there are some basic requirement for managers on ethic and social responsibility, when they are doing international management. Firstly, they need to keep learning, as they are always dealing with different standards. Secondly, they must know who to work with people from different cultural background. Thirdly, they must have big picture of globalization, and also they need know local community well.
Anthony, J. (2015). McDonald’s staff to strike over zero-hour contracts. Retrieved from: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/68111220/mcdonalds-staff-to-strike-over-zerohour-contracts.
Singhapakdi, A., Karande, K., Rao, C.P., & Vitell, S. (2001) “How important are ethics and social responsibility? ‐ A multinational study of marketing professionals”, European Journal of Marketing, 35 (1/2), 133 – 153
Luthans, F. & Doh, J.P. (2012) International Management-Culture, Strategy and Behaviour (8th Edition), New York: McGraw Hill Irwin.