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Ethical Considerations in International Business

As businesses expand internationally, they must not only understand an organization’s mission, vision, goals, policies and strategies but also must consider the legal and ethical issues involved in global business. When companies plan their long-term expansion into a foreign environment, they must tackle serious moral and ethical challenges when making decisions in order to make their expansion a success.

What Ethical Issues Are Common in International Business?

Some of the most common ethical issues in international business include outsourcing, working standards and conditions, workplace diversity and equal opportunity, child labor and human rights. Business leaders must also consider religion, politics, environmental concerns and even the potential for bribery and corruption during global market expansion. Businesses trading internationally are expected to fully comply with federal and state safety regulations, environmental laws, fiscal and monetary reporting statutes and civil rights laws.

How Do Cultural Issues Impact Global Business?

Cultural considerations can also make or break a company conducting business globally. Every culture and nation has its own history, customs, traditions and code of ethics. Cultural barriers include language, which often means a company must rely on translators when speaking to business contacts, employees and customers. This can be challenging, as excellent communication with the workforce is also essential for training, performance management and other human resources (HR) tasks, especially when developing new teams of employees.

Gender can be an issue in countries where women do not have the same rights as men. Religious holidays and other cultural events can prohibit trade at certain times. Acting in accordance with ethical and cultural values is crucial for a multinational company to win clients’ and employees’ support and to achieve a competitive advantage in a particular market.

The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

Much of this comes down to corporate social responsibility. Today’s consumers, domestically and abroad, expect the companies they support to demonstrate ethics and corporate responsibility in mission, values, practices, communications and actions.

Hence, modern businesses focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their international business practices, from manufacturing, labor and materials sourcing to corporate structure and organizational philanthropy. In ways, a business’ ethical performance has become as important as their growth and financial performance.

The rapid growth of international business has increased demand for qualified professionals who are familiar with global markets, business practices, cultural considerations and ethical issues in international business. You may study the complex legal and ethical issues encountered while conducting business overseas within an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. MBA students learn about international law and ethics, along with unique customs and attitudes, governmental policies, monetary systems, trade basics, cross-cultural management and other factors that affect global operations.

An MBA can be one of the best ways professionals can prepare for a management, trade or general business career on a multinational level. International business can provide MBA graduates with opportunities to work in a variety of fascinating positions in numerous fields and industries.

Learn about the University of Texas at Tyler online MBA program.

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