International Ethics Critical Assessment of Ethical Essay

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International Ethics

Critical Assessment of Ethical and Social Responsibility Issues for Global EntrepreneursBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on International Ethics Critical Assessment of Ethical and Assignment

Intuitively the thought of ethics and entrepreneurship being aligned seems paradoxical, even opposed to each other. When one considers the intensity of effort and focus its takes to bring a business to life and keep its vital functions running, it seems there is ample opportunity for ethical boundary debate and stretching. Studies of entrepreneurship indicate this boundary-based mindset to ethics instead of hard-and-fast compliance (Wempe, 2005). To the extent an entrepreneur is a nonconformist is the extent to which they will fundamentally reshape industries and society (Barbee. 2005). This is certainly the case with Steve Jobs, who is busy re-ordering the music and personal MP3 markets today, and Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce.com. This latter company is just ten years old, already has over $1B in sales globally and launched their initial European operations out of a hotel in London, the n moving to Ireland to open sales offices for global companies located in that country for the tax breaks. These are just two of many examples that span North America, the United Kingdom and Europe with the latter one used for purposes of this analysis. This analysis concentrates on the ethical and social resp0onsibility issues that an international or global entrepreneur faces when choosing to expand their business globally. Beginning with cultural implications of ethics and social responsibility, and progressing through essential qualities of leadership to an assessment of collaborative models this paper is focused on being a roadmap for entrepreneurs looking to expand globally. The concentration of the cases mentioned is from North America, the UK and Ireland. What is fascinating about this analysis is the emergence of a new mindset of entrepreneurs about doing well by doing good. The reciprocity of social responsibility, while difficult to quantify, has significant implications for a new businesses' brands and reputations in the market (Yeung, Selen, Zhang, Huo, 2009). This goes beyond lip-service however as the most ethically operated new businesses often provide metrics in the form of balanced scorecards of their ethical and socially responsible behaviors over time (Hannafey, 2003). Studies indicate there is no single defining moment or epiphany when an entrepreneurial looking to expand globally chooses an ethically higher road of conduct or embrace social responsibility (Fuller, Tian, 2006). Rather it is engrained in them from their environment with the most significant influence being a utilitarian-based management philosophy of mentors and coaches. These influences have shown the value of being nonconformist to create exceptional value for new company and its many stakeholders (Brenkert, 2009).

Cultural Factor Considerations When Starting a New Business

The single largest influence on any entrepreneur looking to expand into other geographies, whether that be in comparable or vastly different nations from their own, is the cultural fit, norms, values and expectations. Entrepreneurs launching a new business venture in the UK for example might find the expansion into the U.S. challenging, yet not nearly as challenging as expanding into China or other Asian nations with vastly different cultures. One of the most significant lessons learned by entrepreneurs who go through this process and succeed at expanding globally is the hard lesson that trust is extremely difficult to come by when the focus of the expansion is purely on gaining greater sales or wealth; paradoxically research shows that trust is the new currency of successful global expansion (Yeung, Selen, Zhang, Huo, 2009). With this in mind the entrepreneurs who succeed in their global expansion efforts take a more culture-centric and therefore more collaborative approach to expanding into new nations. This often includes defining how their unique product or service strategies can also contribute to greater growth of the regions of the nation(s) they choose to expand into.

An example of this mindset of enriching the nation where expansion is being planned is in the example of how Marc Benioff uses the offer of volunteer time as a benefit to new employees. Salesforce.com is one of the only rapid-growth software companies that publicly promotes their employees being involved in volunteer activities and in fact promises them time for their favorite charities if they join, and they are paid while volunteering (Economist.com, 2006). This is very unique in the enterprise software market that Salesforce.com competes in, with the majority of his competitors only focused on the logistics, the government regulations -- yet not so much about the culture. It is no wonder the majority of global expansions fail to meet expectations (Johnston, 1996). Increasingly national governments are beginning to emulate the Indian approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the part of companies intending to expand into their nation by requiring a plan be in place for enriching the region of interest for expansion even before compliance to government regulations is granted, thereby assuring a higher level of CSR is achieved through local participation (Sharma, Agarwal, Ketola, 2009) or national investment (Goldstein, 2008).

For the entrepreneur looking to expand into third world nations, CSR is not optional; it's become mandatory on the part of many nations. The case of Tata expanding into India to build their Nano car, and the thousands of jobs they had to guarantee to the Indian government is another case in point (Goldstein, 2008).

For those entrepreneurs looking to expand from the U.S. To UK and Europe however there is not the strict demands as seen in 3rd world nations. Yet the paradox exists of how to earn trust in non-native cultures through consistency and focus on the greater good. Salesforce.com has done this in the areas of training and educational development, funding entire elementary and middle schools' use of computers and the Internet, throughout rural regions of Ireland for example. This was not a requirement for the then less than $100M a year in sales company to do, but Marc Benioff believed it was best to illustrate his commitment to enriching the new country his company was expanding into (Economist.com, 2006). Marc Benioff and other founders like him have a firm grasp of the variations in cultures and how they impact the relative success or failure of their businesses expanding into them. A framework which quantifies these variations and moves them from the intuitive to the quantifiable is the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Model created by Dr. Geert Hofstede while he was at IBM (Hofstede, 1993). The essence of the cultural dimension model center on the Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity, (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), and Long-Term Orientation (LTO), which when taken together provide a thorough analysis of how one culture compares to another. This type of analysis, which can be done interactively using the comparison engine on geert-hofstede.com, provides entrepreneurs with a framework of how to plan and executive their expansion into new nations. The use of the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Model can be used for better understanding variations in ethics between nations (Hofstede, 1993). This ethical framework or roadmap can be invaluable in navigating to start a new division or subsidiary in another region of the world as it provides the five cultural dimensions that are the placeholders of ethical expectations and social responsibility as well. As a result of using this framework to assess one culture relative to another, entrepreneurs can quickly determine the congruency of their own ethical and socially responsible perspective and intermediate the two to create realistic expansion plans. It is in that congruency of an entrepreneur's ethics and social responsibility to the cultural profile of the nations of interest for expansion that success is found.

Assessing Entrepreneurial Leadership and its Implications

In the final analysis, entrepreneurial ethics emanate not from any mission statement or series of strategic plans, but from the entrepreneurs themselves and their bias in decision making, planning and activity (Hemingway, 2005). The myth that entrepreneurs are rugged corporate individualists and make it on their own is a fallacy, especially in the hyper-connected world of the 21st century with its transparent and always-watching social networks (Dunham, 2010). If an entrepreneur does not practice disclosure of their activities the social networks will do that for them, so in essence there is an "always-on" level of scrutiny to their activities, no matter how small the organization (Bernoff, Li, 2008). All of this brings together the right set of conditions for accountability, transparency and other qualities of transformational leaders. For any entrepreneur looking to expand globally, not the hype but the honesty of social networks are today serving as a mirror to their ethical decision making and social responsibility decisions (Bernoff, Li, 2008). It is outside the scope of this analysis to debate if social networks and the transparency they provide can change entrepreneurs to be more focused on being ethical and also socially responsible. Yet in the studies completed to this point it appears to be (Bernoff, Li, 2008).

Where all this leaves the entrepreneur is in the position of having to embrace transformational leadership attributes to make the expansion into new countries successful first, and second, to stay consistent… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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