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Global Business: Current Business Environment


The current business environment has become globally competitive forcing all the businesses that seek to survive an obligation to be strategic in management of their corporate affairs. Making huge sales and maximizing profits remains a high target for all companies regardless of whether they are operating domestically or globally. Therefore, the firms have to take every advantage on economies of scale and/or economies of scope that are present in the global market putting in mind that goods and services in this market are highly standardized. Moreover, the competitive nature of the global business requires ethical considerations as part of their operation although the same may come at a cost to the business.

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Most of the global businesses are propelled by the markets, costs involved, policies of government, and the level of competition. Global businesses require high morals and ethics since they are closely monitored and observed globally. Every global business has to ensure that it is ethically responsible to the markets in which it operates although there are times where there occurs a conflict of ethics. Global businesses are complex to run and their dilemmas are multiple and conflicts inevitable. This paper explains global business and the ethics that are involved as well as dilemma that is common and the risk associated with it.

Ethical dilemma

Ethical dilemmas occur frequently in global businesses especially where moral and legal rights are involved (George, 2006, p.68). Whenever there is a conflict between two values and there are different opinions and responses by the management and leaders involved, a dilemma occurs. This dilemma may be simple or complex but it must be solved so as to ensure the smooth running of the business. The solution of the dilemma must go through thorough consultations to avoid creating new conflicts or making the conflicts more complex.

Some ethical dilemmas involve committing a wrong which may be a necessary evil in a bid to protect the business and its reputation. This means that the management will take one action at the expense of taking both actions hence fail to fulfill a responsibility which will override some virtues and morals; this is referred to as moral residue (Treviño & Nelson, 2008 p.176). Indeed, it requires the leaders to rise above their personal virtues, character or expertise to make a decision that makes or breaks the businesses reputation and performance. Moreover, the managers have to consider what is expected of them by the business and the norms that are practiced by the business as well as the interests of the various stakeholders.

Business ethics revolve around the philosophy of business, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and political issues. Every department, for example, accounting and financial, human resource, sales and marketing, and productions has its share of conflicts of ethics although the conflicts may occur between departments (Newton & Ford, 2008, p.27).

The process of tackling an ethical dilemma involves three steps which help in finding a lasting solution to the problems. Step one involves analyzing the consequences as well as evaluating the harms and benefits in the dilemma. Step two involves evaluating the actions to be taken that will help to establish a stand that favors the common good of the business. It also evaluates how the morals are affected by the decisions that are to be made. The third and last step involves making the decision.

Globally, established companies mostly encounter many cultural dilemmas although this does not restrain the success of the business as many businesses have to overlook some morals and ethics so as to be successful. An example is where the business has to give bribes so as to establish monopolies or be the main dominant producer of a product in global market or a certain foreign market (Serenko & Bontis, 2009). Bribery is a social evil, however, the business has to maintain a huge market to make sales and maintain huge profits. Many global companies have had cases of child labor, discrimination and segregation and not respecting laws of certain countries. Religious conflicts also arise when some global business introduce certain products in the market, that are against the practice of the religion in question.

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Bribery is a common ethical dilemma found in most global businesses. Though it makes the business establish better stability in the market, it is not necessary yet the management uses it to grow. Some may describe bribery as a victimless crime thus sees no evil in it, but the aftermath may be severe and devastating.

Cultural perspective

The perceptions of many cultures on the ethics of business remain similar and restrictive. Many cultures require that all ethics of business be followed to the letter. Many never allow or consider a double standard conditions in any situation and prefer losses or closure of business rather than compromises. These standards may only be illusions and are never real to apply to business where real losses of millions of amounts invested may be lost by such stringent rules of ethics.

Many cultures throughout the world focus on the global businesses to develop their regions while the businesses also aim to exploit the opportunities in the areas (Treviño & Nelson, 2008, p.149). When the business changes affect the religious views of the communities then they present a very hard dilemma to be solved. Many religions never allow compromises although change is inevitable (George, 2006 p.189). The business has to have strong grounds so as to effect such changes and survive in the market.


The risks involved if the bribe is not given are fatal since the business may not even establish monopolies or dominance in that market and this will affect the performance of the business. But giving the bribe is a social evil which leaves the management with two options; give bribe and prosper or don’t bribe and struggle in the market. When the management evaluates these risks then good morals and ethics are compromised in order to save the company’s assets and market. If the citizens discover about the bribe, the company may risk its reputation and the customer’s loose confidence in the products sold by the company.


Ethical dilemmas in global businesses should be solved amicably and the consequences involved reduced. All managers should be keen not to loose moral ground in business though some compromises are necessary. Dilemmas are not only about conflicts about the bad and right, but can also be between right and right. When such dilemmas pop up then the leaders should be prepared to take the right decisions and save the business.


George, R. T. (2006). Business Ethics. Sixth Edition. NJ, Pearson Education Inc.

Newton, L. H. & Ford, M. M. (2008). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Business Ethics and Society. Tenth Edition. NY, McGraw Hill Inc.

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Serenko, A. & Bontis, N. (2009). A citation-based ranking of the business ethics scholarly journals. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 4(4): 390-399. Web.

Treviño, K. L. & Nelson, K.A. (2008). Managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right. Fourth Edition. NY, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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