Corporate governance, responsibility, intellectual property rights, and corruption all fall under the ethical obligations experienced by multinational enteprises today. Whether following the most ethical route in business dealings matters in the long run is, in many ways, a difficult question. Historically, the answer has depended on the environment and outcomes. Nineteenth century textile mills in the United States, for instance, flagrantly violated today’s standards for workers’ rights (including living wages, maximum weekly working hours, and safe working conditions). However, they did much to move U.S. industrialization forward.
Today, one issue concerning corporate ethics is the divide between “first world” and less developed countries. Should emerging economies follow the same course experienced by the United States and Europe in their industrial history? Or should they be aided and, on occasion, forced by developed nations to skip the mishaps of the Western experience, and industrialize under more stringent modern-day standards?
Taken from the 9th Edition of International Marketing by Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen.