chapter  7
24 Pages

Global ethics and labor standards

The conduct of international business increasingly involves concerns about the values and practices of multinational enterprises when they conduct business outside their countries of origin. International governing bodies, such as the United Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO), non-governmental organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), labor organizations, such as the US AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and special interest groups, such as the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and environmental, consumer, and student activist groups, increasingly raise questions about the “ethical” nature of business practices of many MNEs, often particularly as they relate to

employment-related practices. As businesses look outside their country borders for business opportunities, they claim many benefits derive from this global business activity. At the same time, however, they are charged with exploitation and being the cause of increasing inequities in the countries in which they do business, particularly in the less developed countries. Because of this, the possibility of confusion about business rules, ethics, and HR policies and practices has intensified, often because of results from business practices that are seen by some as highly beneficial and, yet, by others as both tragic and costly.1