Business Ethics Scenario — Expansion to Kava

According to our instructions, the mandate we must follow is to increase the company presence in Kava. The primary objective is to benefit this company in a manner that also confers some meaningful benefit to the people of Kava. The government and various other entities in Kava also apparently hope to benefit by virtue of our establishing what they have referred to as our “business culture” in Kava.

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In principle, we must identify the optimal use of company resources to generate profit for the organization and benefit our society in the U.S. In some symbiotic rather than parasitic relationship with the people of Kava and the nation as a whole. After identifying viable possible strategies for achieving that objective, the next issue will be determining a fair and equitable sharing of economic benefits after expenses.

To the extent the Kava government hopes to emulate U.S. business models and organizational structure and operations, it would seem that providing assistance would naturally benefit the Kava people. However, to the extent the Kava government (and other entities) hope to emulate the negative aspects of modern American business culture of excess and exploitation of the lower classes by the wealthier and more powerful, our providing the assistance requested could have a detrimental rather than a beneficial effect on the Kava people.

Implementing and applying modern human resource principles should be well within our ability to accomplish. Therefore, our most important functions in pursuing our objectives is to maximize the benefit to the company, share in proceeds fairly with the Kava people, and make every reasonable attempt to encourage the Kava government to emulate our modern approach to public welfare and an implement an appropriately paternalistic and toward incorporating our methods into Kava society.

Organizational Processes, Human Resources, and Ethics

Undoubtedly, the application of modern organizational processes, organizational structure, operational management, and would be tremendously beneficial to any organizational presence in Kava. Naturally, any of our facilities would apply the same concepts that characterize our domestic and other foreign operations. The Kava government could also benefit greatly from our comparatively sophisticated approach to government operations and public administration.

However, this raises potential ethical concerns over the capacity for harm to the Kava people. More specifically, the Kava people are much more vulnerable to exploitation (including from their own government and domestic organizations and institutions) than are citizens of more advanced democratic societies. In that regard, even the protections available in more sophisticated societies cannot prevent major governmental corruption, exploitation, or unethical business practices in the private sector.

Therefore, the prospect of expanding our company presence to Kava does not obligate us to become more directly involved in Kava government or politics, but it does impose an obligation on our part to encourage the most beneficial organizational values and practices at every level. must be shared in a manner that best cultivates a fundamental respect for human rights, equal rights, ethical principles of fairness and equity.

Naturally, in addition to attempting to instil socially responsible organizational values in Kava, our ethical responsibility requires us to determine a fair method of apportioning the measurable value that we derive from our Kava operations between the Kava people and our financial interests. It should go without saying that we will restrict our operations, organizational processes, and to those considered ethically appropriate in the U.S. And that we will strongly encourage that the Kava government adopt similar standards of government and corporate responsibility for the benefit of Kava society through our influence.

However, to the extent our Kava operations generate financial profit, we must determine how to allocate those profits ethically. In that regard, our fundamental obligation is to compensate Kava employees and organizations is to ensure that the amount of profit that we extract from their labor and other resources is ethically appropriate to the circumstances. No arbitrary assignment of numerical percentages can provide the right ratio of company (and American) profits to Kava benefits.

Therefore, a viable approach might be to first outline objective goals for our impact on Kava society first, and only then to crunch the numbers. For example, it might be that, given our anticipated profits, a reasonable minimum goal capable of justifying our corporate presence in Kava for one year is the establishment of a centralized national system of health clinics to provide basic healthcare services to the Kava population. Whatever profits remain after that goal is achieved represents our fair share, whether that comes out to 70% or 10%. Furthermore, a 50% cap on our benefit might be appropriate as well, with any excess directed toward further justifying our corporate presence in Kava.