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Assignment: Discussion Questions (7) - Essay Example

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The concept of international social responsibility refers to the global corporate social responsibility (GCSR) expected from multinational companies (MNCs). International law governing this area is generally “unsettled and ambiguous” (Zerk, 2006) and the various guidelines…
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Download file to see previous pages The relationship of MNCs with the host country is thus guided and affected by the GCSR framework the MNC applies. The people and the governments of host countries are always concerned that MNCs conduct their business operations with respect and responsibility; by respecting the laws and traditions of the country and demonstrating responsibility for their actions.
Many MNCs have been criticized in the past for their activities in less developed countries (LDCs) because they differ from their standard practices in their own countries, due to the tendency for laxity, or because they are otherwise considered unethical in the host country. For example, child labor is widely accepted as unethical nowadays but the practice continues in some LDCs, especially those with low standards of living, and worse is the fact that many MNCs have taken advantage of the cheap labor in order to reduce costs without regard to their health or education. MNCs from western capitalist economies are the worst culprits because they follow the tenet of Milton Friedman of only being responsible for their shareholders whereas this is in conflict with eastern values such as harmonizing profits with righteousness (Thomas Hong-Soon Han). The MNCs further justify their positions by claiming that the global marketplace has become very competitive and they need to improve their economies of scale to maximize their profits. However, this is a very narrow and inconsiderate stance that has long-term negative repercussions.
Moral universalism grew as a response to the problem of international corporate social irresponsibility, and is a development from ‘moral relativism’ in which MNCs merely adapted to local norms and the LDCs were found to have inadequate provisions to safeguard vulnerable sections of society. It involves “the identification of a particular set of ethical standards that has broad, international support, such as the UN Global ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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