- 1. Solution 1
Institutionalizing ethical practices in the firm is a tough task for management under any circumstances, and it becomes especially problematic as corporations move into the international arena, like it happened in the discussed care. Besides the usual barriers of custom and language, operating in foreign locations also poses another problem – different countries have value systems which vary widely, often leading to ethical norms and beliefs which are at odds with those of the global corporation. (Hoffman 151)
The first solution that meets the ethical considerations would be the following. Alistair understands that although bribery an unethical approach in general and it is not the way of doing business even under complex circumstances but he also realizes that supply of life saving drugs has a vital importance for the population of the war zones and that the common ethics can’t be applied in a war zone.
The bribery case that happened in Bosnian office has created an extraordinary example of how should the product export issues be solved in the war conflict territories. This case deals with issues of moral duty, basic human rights, and the right to access the life saving drugs. Additionally, it deals with cultural relativism case. It means that existing cultural beliefs and practices in various societies should not be judged or overridden by conflicting external standards. (Kline 170) Therefore this bribery in Bosnia may be referred to as cultural relativism case, because the company is not able to change the rules on that market under extreme war conditions. It is known that local cultural values strongly influence normative ethical beliefs in terms of what is considered morally correct behavior. Values and beliefs are subsequently reflected in common business practice, government regulation of business activity, and widely held perceptions of appropriate business conduct within a given society. (Hoffman 155)
Alistair understands that this is the case that could be described by conventional morality and ethical relativism, because the company has to arrange the delivery to wounded people in the dangerous warzone conditions.
Therefore, Alistair realizes this precedent should initiate the discussion among the top management of how company’s employees should behave themselves in the following situations when the decision making process is complex and the result may depend on the use of unethical methods.
As a result, Alistair presents a report to the top management that includes the details of the contract and bribery case with the explanation of the ethical dilemma and estimation of the possible legal risks and publicity risks for the company caused by the actions of the Bosnian manager and conclusion of the unorthodox contract. But in his repot Alistair recommends to create special investigative team. This report suggests examining the situation carefully in order to create the pattern for other managers that would regulate the procedures related to the specific ethics related cases and their practical steps when concluding the contracts of the company products delivery into the war zones.
The executive from Bosnia should not be punished but should be warned that such actions without approval with the top managers can’t be done. And again, there is a need to emphasize that this kind of situation that involves the most complicated decision-making process related to the ethical business principles should be reviewed by the top management in each case to identify ethical dilemmas and the moral obligations of the company-producer.
Business ethics and relational responsibility are much underestimated, when compared to organizational responsibility, but they are really important if organization wants to build a good image outside and inside its structure. Therefore, the pharmaceutical company discussed in the case should pay close attention to the practices and approaches that are applied by the local offices in the regions that are known for its unorthodox approaches to the business operations in general.