Cross Cultural Perspectives Essay
The Coca Cola Company, the world’s largest multinational beverage manufacturer and corporation, operates bottling plants and sells its products in more than 200 countries across the globe (The Coca Cola Company, 2014). Coca Cola’s massive global presence requires the organization to understand the different cultures of its many host countries; the laws within each country; and the business norms, styles, as well as practices of each country it conducts business operations in. The company has developed and implemented numerous policies, regulations, and guidelines for its suppliers, operation management, and employees in its various host countries. But, all of this detailed undertaking to address transparencies in the corporation’s supply chains throughout the world did not stop its El Salvadoran bottling and manufacturing plant’s management from purchasing refined sugar from a mill which used child labor.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), up to one third of the workers on El Salvador’s sugarcane plantations are under the age of 18, with many starting to work in the fields between the ages of eight and eleven (HRW, 2004). Even though, the national and international child labor authorities prohibit minors under the age of 18 from performing hazardous or harmful work, plantation owners define these young children and teenagers who work with their parents as “helpers” instead of the workers they actually are (Veracity, 2006). The above paragraph represents one of the many cross-cultural issues facing Coca Cola and the myriad of other multinational organizations interactions outside the United States.
In these various host countries having your children working beside you is considered common cultural practices; it provides additional income for the family’s survival because the poor state of many of their country’s economy (such as El Salvador) allows these injustices to continue. Regardless, of why these children are working in the sugarcane fields, and the fact that Coca Cola does not actually purchase its refined sugar directly from the plantations, the company is in direct violation of its own “Guiding Principles for Suppliers to Coca Cola Company” policy.
The policy states that, “Suppliers will not use child labor as defined by local law,” but Coca Cola fails to extend this policy one step further in the supply chain to include the supplier’s supplier of raw material (Veracity, 2006). So, in the long-term means that the organization is just as socially and ethically responsible for the use of child labor as well as the harm working in the field create as the suppliers and the plantation owners. The Coca Cola formula was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia; and the formula as well as the brand was purchased in 1889 by Asa Griggs Chandler who incorporated The Coca Cola Company in 1892 (The Coca Cola Company, 2014). Throughout its many years of operations the business always demonstrated strong market orientation; exhibited strategic decision making processes; and took actions to attract, satisfy, and retain customers. All of these positive actions have just added to company’s advantage and profitability over competitors in the beverage industry, which is why they are number one in the world.
Nevertheless, as the organization began to expand its operations into more and more host countries around the globe it has been involve with quite a number of misconduct and questionable unethical behavior. As a result, these legal and ethical problems have had an impact on the corporation’s financial performances, investor trust, and reduced its sales levels. Today’s Coca Cola Company is now engaging in an operation to rebuild its brand image and credibility, improve its sells, and reinforce its reputation by developing and implementing stronger company ethical and social responsibility throughout its entire global marketplace (The Coca Cola Company, 2014). There have been a number of events other than child labor in El Salvador where Coca Cola has been involved and held accountable in unethical behavior. In Colombia, Turkey, and Guatemala bottling plants the company has been accused of hiring paramilitary mercenaries to assassinate, torture, and coerce workers, their family members, and union leaders as they attempted to unionize to protect workers from unfair treatment and abuse by the host countries’ employers.
These incidents sparked an campaign entitled, “Stop Killer Coke”, and a 2009 PBS documentary filmed by German Gutierezz and Carmen Garcia entitled, “The Coca-Cola Case” to reveal the company’s practices to consumers around the world (Huff, E. A., 2010). Of course, Coca Cola denied the allegations against the company and its bottling partners, where cleared of any wrong doing in the foreign courts. When the case was brought to the United States, Coca Cola fought and succeeded in having its name removed from the lawsuit (Huff, E. A., 2010). Another ethical and social responsibility issue the company encountered, actually there are two environmental issues concerning the depletion of groundwater and polluting of water in India. Coca Cola operates 52 water intensive bottling plants in India using 3.8 liters of freshwater to generate a liter of carbonated drink. While in the Southern Indian village of Plachimada in Kerala state groundwater along with local wells dried up forcing residents to rely on water supplies trucked in daily by the government due to persistent droughts, and the company’s bottling plants.
In the rural Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where farming is the primary industry the residents have been experiencing similar conditions, only the government is not supplying enough water for the crops. As a result of the groundwater depletion situations the business is not only responsible for the loss of livelihood and hunger for the many citizens across India, but the creation of thirst. In 2003, the other issues of polluted water were discovered near the Kerala and Uttar Pradesh bottling plants. Sludge containing high levels of cadmium, lead, and chromium was given to farmers as free fertilizer to tribal farmers who lived near the plants, but the need for fresh water was overlooked by Coca Cola. As a side note, an Indian nonprofit group tested 57 carbonated beverages made by both Coca Cola and Pepsi at 25 bottling plants were found to be contaminated with between three and five different pesticides (The Corporation, 2009).
Although, the organization denied creating the problems, the Indian government ordered Coca Cola to shut down one of its $25 million plants. The organization then thought long and hard about its corporate social responsibility (and lost revenue); and decided to improve their business practices in the local communities, reduced the water usage by 34%, started rainwater harvesting, and returned substantial amounts of water to depleted aquifers. They also stopped distributing sludge, joined with the Indian government to develop additional solid waste disposal sites, and began treating the water used to make soft drinks with activated carbon filtration (The Corporation, 2009).
Coca Cola conducted all of these improvements to regain the trust of the local communities and the Indian government. But, my question would be, why not practice these ethical and corporate responsibility policies from the beginning? As more and more organizations are utilizing the opportunity of transitioning into multinational operations, they will have to research how business is conducted, the local laws, as well as the government policies and operation methods of every host country they wish to operate in. Then they will have to incorporate and implement all of their ethical and corporate social responsibility they employ in their home country universally throughout the entire business operation. Creating a unified culture that will adhere to a high level of business behavior in all global operations, respecting all of the local workforces’ cultures and traditions, and eliminating the use of any unethical values or behaviors from home and abroad.
Huff, E. A. (2010, May, 22). Coca Cola’s Murderous Record of Anti-Union Activity Exposed Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/028844_coca-cola_html. The Coca Cola Company (2014). Retrieved from
The Corporation (2009). Ethical Issues Concerning Coca-Cola in India. Retrieved from http://imaginecorporation.blogspot.com/ethical-issues-concerning-cocacola-in.html Veracity, D. (2006). Coca-Cola, Human Rights and Child Labor Retrieved from http://www.naturalmatters.net/article.asp?article=1301&cat=219
Cross Cultural Perspectives Essay
Cross-cultural perspectives are just that, an individual perspectives of other another culture in comparison to another. Cola-Cola was created May 8, 1886 by John Pemberton and Jacobs’ Pharmacy was the first place it was served at. In 1906, Coca-Cola expanded to three countries outside the United States. In 1912, they expanded to the Philippines and then to Asia for the first time. In the late 1920’s, Coca-Cola formed a Foreign Department that would supply their concentrate to 10 other countries. Coca-Cola started a couple of bottling operations in India, one at Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh in 1999 and another one in 2000 at Plachimada, Kerala. Environmental issues began to surface at these two India locations shortly thereafter.
India has several Coca-Cola bottling operations throughout their country. The two that will be discussed are the ones in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, in particular. These two plants have similar issues that they are facing, including closure of their operation. If the ISO14001 standard was utilized before and during the operation of these two plants, the outcome would have been considerably different. According to “ISO14001:2004 EMS Requirements” (2004), “ISO 14001:2004 is applicable to any organization that wishes to implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system; assure itself of its conformance with its stated environmental policy; demonstrate such conformance to others; seek certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization; make a self-determination and self-declaration of conformance with this international standard.”
Uttar Pradesh Location
The plant in Uttar Pradesh was opened in 1999 and the people were not happy about it from the beginning. Coca-Cola started proceedings to expand the water table for consumption which ultimately took from the local farms. It was discovered that Coca-Cola also increased their production from what was allowed per their contract from their government which in turn made them use even more water. Locals protested this request plus they also stated that the plant was built on ground that did not belong to them. With this area already considered drought-stricken, Cola-Cola should have taken other measures to obtain the necessary water to run the plant and the right to increase production prior to this dilemma. Morally and ethically speaking, they had the obligation to not harm the people or their environment in any shape, form or fashion while operating their business for profit. If depletion of was not bad enough, the water they used was contaminated and were found in about a dozen of the finish products that were produced there.
Hansia (2014), “The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) found high levels of toxic pesticides and insecticides, high enough to cause cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects and severe disruption of the immune system” (para. 17). They were only fined $2,000 US dollars for the land issues and was ordered to vacate the premises but Coca-Cola obtained a stay order but the National Green Tribunal (NGT) have not allowed them to reopen as of the summer of 2014. However, Coca-Cola was instructed to replenish twice as much water they extracted as part of the ruling, and in 2014, the government made a promise to the local village council that the factory will be demolished because the land belong to them and the construction of the plant was illegal, (“Coca-Cola Forced To Close India Bottling Factory Over Excessive Water Use, Pollution”, 2014).
The Kerala plant started their operation in 2000 but soon came to similar complications as the Uttar Pradesh location encountered in 2004. Due to water depletions, the community is aggressively taking action to have the plant shut down. The liabilities that the legislation is holding Coca-Cola is $47 million for damages caused by the operation of the plant (“Coca-Cola Plant Shut Down In India “, 2014). Considerably more than Uttar Pradesh imposed previously. Along with having the same water contamination issues, the Kerala plant also had solid waste problems.
The company was passing off the sludge as fertilizer to the farmers which caused environmental and health damages which were most likely included in the liability charges that were imposed. India now accuses Coca-Cola of having double standards were human health is concerned, in comparison to the United States, (“Ethical Issues Concerning Coca-Cola In India”, 2009). That very well may be an accurate accusation because that would not have happened in the United States. The U.S. environmental rules and regulations are a lot stricter than most countries and are strictly enforced throughout the U.S. Hefty fines are issued when the rules are broken as they are there for the protection of the U.S. environment and the future generations to come.
For both locations in reference to the water issue. Further evaluations and consultation with the environment committees would have been beneficial knowing that water is a commodity that is scarce in both regions. Critical thinking into other options in obtaining water such as building traps to collect rain water or recycling the waste water through new technology that has been recently created and tested to be the cleanest water. As far as the solid waste dilemma, find other ways to dispose of it such as other approved locations or disposal plants, if any that it can be taken to or contact renewable energy plants that use bio materials to operate their power plants. If one does not exist, explore the opportunities to create one for renewable energy for the Coca-Cola plant itself.
In spite of the water/beverage contamination, solid waste problems and the two closures discussed previously that Coca-Cola had endured, they are known around the world as the top leading soft drink. Cola-Cola needs to align the ethics and morals of the operations in the United States with those of other countries in order to get and maintain the status that all their stockholders would be proud of. The communities would actually invite the company to open an operation in their region because they would know that their environment would advance and improve along with the well-being of the people of that community. Coca-Cola should have embraced overseas countries as if it were in their own backyard.
Coca-Cola forced to close India bottling factory over excessive water use, pollution. (2014). Retrieved from http://rt.com/news/167012-coca-cola-factory-closed-india/ Coca-Cola Plant Shut Down in India. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.indiaresource.org/news/2014/1020.html Ethical issues concerning Coca-Cola in India. (2009). Retrieved from http://imaginecorporation.blogspot.in/2009/08/ethical-issues-concerning-coca-cola-in.html Hansia, F. (2014). Coca-Cola Forced To Shut Bottling Plant in India. Retrieved from http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15963 ISO 14001:2004 EMS Requirements. (2004). Retrieved from http://www.itgovernanceusa.com/shop/p-644-iso14001-iso-14001-ems-requirements.aspx?gclid=CLqom7Gt6MMCFYeTfgodzVAAUw#.VOLgEvmAEbI
Cross Cultural Perspectives Essay
The mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is commitment to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrates and the society in which they choose to live (“International Organization for Migration”, n. d. ). IOM provides a safe, reliable, and cost-effective service to help those who require international migration assistance. This global organization is forced to face several cross-cultural issues on a daily basis simply because of the services they provide.
IOM prides itself for developing an extensive knowledge of the migration rules and regulations in countries worldwide. They work with several other partners to keep up-to-date with the latest laws and any special requirements that are necessary for any migrates to migrate successfully to the new country. Although IOM works with many countries all over the world, this paper will focus on the cross-culture issues between the United States and Mexico. Mexican Immigration in the US Immigration allows American citizens to be exposed to many cultures without having to travel the globe.
The Mexican border has created a setting that the United States will never forget by dividing its citizens into two groups, those that oppose immigration and those who support it. Mexican immigrants are a large part of the nation’s diversity and its unskilled labor workforce. Mexican immigrants are happy to be accepted as American citizens. They come to America to work hard, grow their families, and learn more about American culture. Mexican immigrants consider it to be vital to learn English so they can succeed (Farkas, 2003).
On the other side, many of the Mexican immigrants will work for less than minimum wage which has disrupted the American labor force in the US. This has caused a serious problem among American citizens as there truly is a need for this cheap labor in America. Companies continue to hire the cheaper labor rather than United States citizens as long as the government permits them to do so. These examples are opposite ends of the spectrum concerning Mexican immigration, but IOM is working hard to help those immigrants who want to have a positive, reliable, and safe transition.
It is also important to educate migrates and citizens on the important benefits of migration world-wide. Because of the ever growing population of Mexican immigrants, the United States is continually updating and changing immigration laws. According to “International Organization for Migration” (n. d. ), their strategic focus to “be a primary reference point for migration information, research, best practices, data collection, compatibility, and sharing” is another tool to help migrants meet any requirements necessary to be successful in their migration process.
Migration is a pivotal part of the United States, without migration this nation would not be what it is today. IOM actively works to promote, facilitate, and support regional and global debate on migration and its importance in any society (International Organization for Migration, n. d. ). Ethical Perspectives Within any organization that operates globally there are several ethical perspectives to consider. Different cultures have their “way of thinking” that is socially acceptable. A situation that might be socially and ethically acceptable in one culture could not be so in another culture.
In order to be a successful global organization tackling the cross-cultural differences from the start is ideal. For IOM, they have several offices across the globe that handles cases in the areas they are assigned to. This helps to narrow the different cultures that are represented at any given time. Also when it comes to training the many employees and volunteers who help IOM and the migration process for migrates there is a more narrow focus to train on. It is also important to recruit employees and volunteers who come from different cultural backgrounds so the organization can be appealing to many different countries.
In order to attract a wide array of clients the company itself must look as if they encourage and support all cultures across the globe. IOM is a service to help migrates have a successful migration so it is also important for them to have faith in the company and the services they will provide. If IOM promoted their services from one central office in Switzerland and all their employees and partners were Swedish, that would not promote much confidence in a Mexican immigrant who was trying to have a smooth transition into the United States.
Conclusion The International Organization for Migration was started in the 1950s to help displaced disaster victims from natural disasters or man-made disasters. From there, IOM branched out to help spread the importance of migration in each country worldwide. IOM helps to educate migrates on their new surroundings and also the citizens of that country on the new cultures that are represented. The International Organization for Migration works diligently to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrates all over the world.
Cross Cultural Perspectives Essay
The Microsoft Corporation is a fortune 500 company that ranked # 35 on the fortune 500 list in 2013 (Fortune 500, 2013) and is one of the largest business corporations in the world. It was founded in 1975 by two guys named Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the business developed very rapidly as the years went by and reached a marker of 89,000 employees, with a revenue of $62 billion dollars and had offices located all over the world (Fortune 500, 2011).
From the initial headquarters that is held in Albuquerque New Mexico, the Microsoft Company steadily increased the offices held within the United States and expanded that to include more than 100 countries abroad. This expansion into different countries became a challenge because of having to deal with new lifestyles, new cultures, people, and languages. Proper research needed to be conducted not to mention the implementation of a proper working strategy to help the integration of these new ethics and cultures into those of the Microsoft Corporation.
The homepage of the Microsoft Corporation shares a summarized version of its culture and says “We as individuals and as a company value honesty, integrity, constructive self criticism, openness, mutual respect, and continual self improvement” (Microsoft Corporation, 2011). The Microsoft Corporation also presents their official responsibilities as part of their ethical obligation. “We at the Microsoft Corporation hold ourselves accountable to our shareholders, customers, employees, and partners, and we do this by honoring our commitment, providing results, and striving for the highest quality possible” (Microsoft Corporation, 2011).
When making a move into new cultures and countries, it becomes very important for employees old and new to not only understand but also accept the Microsoft Corporations ethics and culture. As we all know Microsoft products are used all over the world in both businesses and homes. When they first made the decision to open an office in Lebanon, a majority of the computers ran on the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Windows Office program was the most popular word processing and spreadsheet program.
However, there was a problem and that problem was the fact that there was a bunch of versions of this system that had been pirated and distributed in that country. In a country where buying a five dollar pirated software program from a local computer store made it a little hard in terms of convincing some people that it was not only unethical but also illegal. This brings about the question of, “How is The Microsoft Corporation going to sell authentic versions of their software when there are pirated versions being distributed at such a cheaper price not to mention a lack of government control involved”?
Because of this, Microsoft proceeded to send letters to these major organizations warning them against using this pirated software. They also offered to visit these businesses in order to conduct a site survey so that assessments could be made in terms of what software would fit the company the best and at what the cost would be. The Microsoft Corporation also provided the organization that behaved ethically and invited Microsoft in for the survey assessment; Microsoft turned around and gave them a very good price deal on the software.
Microsoft also introduced to them a payment facility for the companies that had to make large purchases of the software in order to get licenses for the pirated software they already had in place. Everyone knows that not all organizations and businesses operate within ethical boundaries. Lebanon, just like the U. S. , is similar in the fact that it is an individualist culture. However, bribery is common throughout this country. Microsoft has an ethical standard that is against these types of acts and it is totally against their integrity.
It was however, improbable to sell these authentic copies to many of these businesses without presenting these managers with some type of gift in exchange. Some of these organizations proceeded to offer gifts to the Microsoft Corporation’s employees. They in return were hoping for some type of special discount, or a deal would not work out. The Microsoft Corporation has an ethical obligation to their shareholders and that obligation is to protect and increase the value of the shares. The Microsoft Corporation has to be able to earn a said profit in order for the share values to increase.
On a bad note, Microsoft cannot legitimately sell software copies in a country that has corruption and bribery within its ethics and culture. According to Transparency International “The transparency in Lebanon ranked 2. 5 out of 10 in the world in 2010” (Corruption Perception Index 2010 Results, 2010). When comparing that score to 8. 9 out of 10 in Canada and 7. 1 out of 10 in the United States, the difference is quite staggering. Microsoft has to be able to find a way to adapt their approach in order to conclude some type of successful business in the country of Lebanon.
According to the text book “The biggest source of anxiety for business people in America who operate abroad is the expectations of bribes and payoffs” (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). When the Microsoft management team was faced with bribes or offerings in order to sell their software to the organizations who where operating on pirated copies, they in return chose to use an ethical model in order to make a decision in regards of choosing which course of action would be best to take.
The judicial systems of these countries that have a low transparency, that are similar to those in Lebanon, are very weak. So filing a lawsuit against the businesses that are running the pirated versions of the Microsoft software programs would turn out to be very costly, time consuming and may end up yielding no type of results in the end. Management teams that are faced with different types of ethical situations can apply different types of ethical models in order to help assist in the process of decision making.
In the case of bribing a manager of an organization in order to purchase software that is legal, it is possible that they could apply the utilitarianism ethical model. By looking at the result, it might be easy to try and make a decision on whether or not the employees at the Microsoft Corporation may try and bribe a business into purchasing Microsoft software that is legal. On a positive note, Microsoft selling more software to organizations and businesses that need it or may already be using it may help in the reduction of software being pirated within the country.
The share prices at Microsoft are being maintained by the revenue and the employees receiving a commission. On the negative side, if a bribe is being paid to an employee or a member of the business or an organization who is purchasing the Microsoft software. The Utilitarianism’s ethical model shows approval of this as a decision that is ethical. Being able to apply different ethical models, such as the deontological model may end up having different ending results. The question that this raises is “Should all
businesses or organizations pay some type of bribe or bribes in order to help sell their products? ” The answer to this naturally is, “no”. Global businesses are faced with many different challenges everyday as they expand into different foreign organizations. Ethical challenges will always arise for an organization as they expand. The ethical decisions made in regards to different business matters can usually be solved by applying the different ethical models that are available.
There are plenty of tools available for helping solve arising ethical problems and they need to be used so they may be helpful in making solutions. With the launch of Microsoft in the country of Lebanon they need to confront these ethical issues of bribery so that they can enter the market. The Microsoft Corporation must learn to adapt their policies in order to comply with the ethical standards they have in the country of Lebanon. References Corruption Perception Index, 2010 results (2010).
Transparency International Retrieved August 11, 2013 from https://www. transparency. org/policy_research/surveys Fortune Global 500 (2011) CNN Money, Retrieved August 11, 2013 from https://money. cnn. com/magazines/fortune/global500/2011 Microsoft Corporation (2011) About Microsoft, Retrieved August 10, 2013 from https://www. microsoft. com/about/en/us/default. aspx Trevino. L. K & Nelson. K. L (2007) Retrieved August 9, 2013 from Managing Business Ethics (4th Ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.