Ethical Aspects Of The Internationalization Business Essay

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Historically, humans have had to face with many decisions in which have to choose according to certain values. These ethical dilemmas arise in our daily life and we have to deal with them at any time. Furthermore, an ethical dilemma is not only about interacting with others. Even more, it starts with the planning of a decision in our minds.

Ethical dilemmas in our family, with our peers, our work, our friends, in conclusion, in a number of situations in which we act on that parameter that tells us what is right and what is not.

Going a little further, now most people know the concept of business ethics. This is because people have become aware of the importance of ethical practices and attitudes within companies and workplaces around the world.

First, following an ethic code in the workplace makes much easier to make decisions, reach agreements and solve problems in a more optimal way, in which all or most of the people involved are satisfied. This increases the success of companies. Second, act ethically within companies, not only contributes to better relations in the workplace, but implies greater sustainability for the company. Companies that are seen as ethically responsible have better reputation and are well regarded by its stakeholders. This helps them to grow over time and have the support of stakeholders. And without leaving behind a very important reason, is that ethical decisions in the workplace enhanced human dignity that which every human being deserves. Each person should be treated with respect, in every way.

However, the concept of business ethics has taken a specific turn after the development of globalization. The phenomenon of globalization has meant a complete change in the way of trade and business. It has pushed the boundaries, and all the elements that are part of the companies and are not limited to being part of a particular geographical area.

Above all, this has meant many changes in the value chain of companies. What once meant having specific local distributors, now that's different, because a company can have distributors in all the parts of the world.

We know that with the Value Chain, activities gives the product more added value than the sum of the independent activities and it is important that this value added of the product or service at each chain activity, must be transferred to the consumer. Thanks to globalization and the minimization of geographical barriers, that value to be for the final consumer is more specialized and focused on what the customer really wants. At the same time, this means more growth for businesses, less production costs, further expansion in various markets, among others.

But these advantages for companies that the phenomenon of globalization brings should not obscure the ethical practices within them, and above all, in the process of creating value within the chain.

The importance of business ethics should be a reality in all functional areas of the Value Chain of the business:

Research and Development

Design of Products, Services, or Processes


Marketing & Sales


Customer Service

One issue that has had more relevance in the topic of ethics is the hiring labor. This is because there are many ambiguities that bring ethical dilemmas. For example, there are dilemmas with the issue of discrimination. Since many companies only hire people who have some particular profile: age, gender, religion and belief, educational level and other characteristics.

Another dilemma concerning labor is the issue of fair wages. Today there are many companies that are dedicated to hire "cheap labor" in the third world countries or emerging countries, in which there is high unemployment and low living conditions, so that people accept these jobs to survive. But companies are not really paying fair wages.

An important point is also the theme of the suppliers. As companies are always trying to minimize their costs, but often do so at the expense of anything no matter if their impair someone else. Sometimes, companies end contract with providers simply because they have gotten cheaper prices of inputs. They do not follow the rules of the game and end up transgressing contracts.

Another important issue that has to be mentioned is about marketing and communication. In recent years, this functional area of business has taken a lot of importance because they have realized that it is important for consumers to know the message of the product or service and the value proposition they are offering. However, this may also have situations where ethics is involved. For example, many companies launch campaigns in which some messages violate the integrity of a group of individuals. Advertising campaigns can be discriminatory or offend some belief or cultural part of a specific group.

There may also be fake messages to consumers. For example, when advertisements exaggerate or lie on the characteristics of the products or services being offered. This damages the integrity of the consumer. Another aspect may be the imposition of unfair prices for products. Especially for those companies that are offering a unique product on the market, as in the case of monopolies or oligopolies. They can take advantage of this condition to get the most out of consumers and make unethical decisions.

However, not everything is so bad. There are many companies that have adopted many ethical practices along the value chain. These companies have learned about the importance of values ​​within persevere business, not only because it means higher profit margins and better reputation for the company, but also because they know that ethics is important in human relations and dignifies the work of those who help business prosperity.

These companies are concerned about areas such as corporate social responsibility. And they have very effective programs to help the community, donating to charities, relief based institutions such as schools, hospitals, etc. Furthermore, there are also programs with other actors in the same value chain. For example, launch programs to help low-income providers, or programs to help their employees with lower wages, etc.

These companies know the importance of the practice of ethics in business. Not only limited to practice formal code of ethics, but undertake to act that way in day to day with all who are part of their value chain. From suppliers, distributors, administration to reach consumers. They do not just want to satisfy their own needs, but strive to build what the world needs: sustainable development.

To analyze the issue of "Ethical Aspects of the Internationalization of the Value Chain", I will explain from the concept of ethics, business ethics, the phenomenon of globalization, the concept of value chain, the main areas where ethics comes in the value chain, and finally, a conclusion that synthesizes a practical solution. There are also some annexes. The first explain the value chain structure. The second is a new that helps to understand some dilemmas within the companies. The next one is a case about labor exploitation. And the last one is an interview that I made to some people to know their thought about this interesting topic and that helped me to make a conclusion.


Ethics relates to the study of morality and human action. This discipline has and has had many meanings over time. There are many ethical theories and explanations of the bloom. However, we can always find some general points that coincide in the meaning. Most of the people agree that Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society. Also, in etymological terms the word is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean character. Then we can say that ethics is the study that defines what is good, bad, obligatory, permitted, etc. regarding an action or decision. Moreover, Ethics covers dilemmas as how to live a good life, rights and responsibilities, what it is right and wrong, moral decisions and other similar quandaries.

Despite all the guidance that Ethics can give us, does not impose "correct answers" or definitive parameters, what it does is serve as a decision map, which can make better choices, not only individual but also for others. It constitutes desirable conduct in a particular set of social circumstances prescribes moral codes, norms, beliefs and practices.

Ethics involves looking at particular norms and values and behaviors and judging them, asking whether various norms and values are mutually contradictory, and asking which ones matter more in what sorts of situations. Ethics involves attempting, at least, to find higher order principles and theories in an attempt to rationalize and unify our diverse moral beliefs. [1] 

Since some time for now it has introduced the concept of business ethics. This is because in the business world can provide many ambiguous situations as confuse to define what is right and what is not.

It is likely that ethical decisions are taken in business very dependent on each individual person and their own values ​​and moral judgments. However, companies are always trying to establish some guidelines for corporate behavior that allows better interaction between the different actors of businesses and related stakeholders.

Returning to the phrase of the German philosopher Friedrich Hegel "World history is to discipline the uncontrolled nature, bring about the obedience of a universal principle and provide a subjective freedom". It must therefore be questioned whether there are really parameters to be followed in the business world's decisions or if those change according to the culture, the country and other related factors.

Ethics in business

Specifying a little more the concept Business ethics is the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. Is about ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. Business ethics are nothing more than the code of values and principles that govern the actions of a person, or a group of people, regarding what is right versus what is wrong.

While many businesses have codes of ethics, the words written in a formal code are valuable only if their intent is reflected in the actions of the people who represent the organization. A business cannot be any more, or less, ethical than the people who run it and who work for it. Within a company, people take their cues regarding the behaviors that are acceptable based on how they see the company's leaders acting and the behaviors that they see being rewarded in their peers. Businesses that are managed by leaders who conduct themselves in an ethical manner and who reward employees for doing what is right are much more likely to be characterized by a positive ethical culture.

The phenomenon of globalization and internationalization

The Globalization can be defined as the process by which cultures influence one another and become more alike through trade, immigration and the exchange of information and ideas. The reach of globalization extends to every part of the world, but cultures differ greatly in how much they have been affected by it with considerable variations within regions and within countries (Arnett, 2002). Culture comprises divergent behaviours, norms and expectations and is fluid across space and time (Ettlinger, 2003) and can be viewed as the patterns of cognitions and behaviour shared by a group which evolve and becomes manifest in continuous processes of social interaction.

However, given the complex articulated world in which we live today and with the advent of globalization, the issues of justice and ethics within international relations can no longer be dealt with in such a straightforward manner. In particular, and to an increasingly large extent, international relations do not only involve the exchange of 'opposite' goods, that is to say raw materials in exchange for finished products.

Today, models of specialization have become highly developed. Trade in raw materials has gradually become less important while trade in intangible assets (over and above the intangible and service-related content of the trade in products) has become more so. Even developing countries have become active players in the world theatre and have begun to export finished products with an increasingly high technological content. Moreover, direct investment has gained a foothold alongside the trade in goods and most importantly, the so-called new forms of internationalization have become widespread. Even internationalization theories have had to measure up to the increasingly complex state of affairs.

Globalization is a phenomenon that has led to the integration of regional economies, societies, and cultures through communication, transport and trade. It is closely linked with economic globalization that stands for the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology and military presence.

However, the phenomenon of globalization is usually driven by a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political and biological factors. So, it becomes important to deal with ethical issues in cross-cultural settings.