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Deresky Tif Exam01

Deresky Tif Exam01

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Exam 1: Chapters 1-4
 ANSWER
FOUR
OF THE FOLLOWING FIVE QUESTIONS (5 POINTS EACH). Be sure to give full, comprehensive answers with enough detail to convince thereader that you understand the concepts. Be sure that your answer demonstratesknowledge and understanding of the course and text. Use subheadings and bulleted lists as appropriate.
1.
Explain the terms ethnocentrism, ethical relativism, and moraluniversalism, as they pertain to the social responsibility actions of MNCs.Is one approach preferred over another?
(Chapter 2, pages 36-41) The term “ethnocentrism” refers to the attitude of MNCs which operate fromthe assumption that their ways of doing things are best- no matter where or under what conditions they are applied. Under the ethnocentric approach, anMNC applies the morality used in its home country- regardless of the hostcountry’s system of ethics. For example, while Americans consider itunethical to employ child labor and have strict laws prohibiting it, child labor occurs in other countries as a source of cheap labor for firms and a means tosupplement the family’s income.Under “ethical relativism”, the company simply adopts the local moral code of the country in which it is operating (e.g., “When in Rome, do as the Romansdo”). With this approach, companies run into value conflicts, for example,where companies continue to export silicone-filled breast implants (prohibitedin the United States for health reasons). Companies such as Dow Corninghave ceased foreign sales of breast implants citing its responsibility to applythe same standards internationally as it does domestically (in essence taking both an ethnocentric and universalist stance).Under “moral universalism” the company adheres to the same standards of ethical behavior in every part of the world where it operates. Moraluniversalism also implies that the MNCs adhere to a set of universal moral principles rather than principles derived from its home or host country. For example, certain minimum standards of human rights, labor rights, andconcern for the environment fall within the category of “moral universalism”.A specific example of universal standards or principles used by MNCs is theSocial Accountability 8000 (SA 8000). These are standards modeled on themanufacturing standard ISO 8000. The SA8000 proposes the following:
Do not use child or forced labor 
Provide a safe working environment
Respect worker’s rights to unionize
Do not regularly require more then 48-hour work weeks
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Pay sufficient wages to cover worker’s basic needs
These standards would fall under “moral universalism”Other examples of universal standards are the International Codes of Conduct for MNEs discussed in Chapter 3. These codes were developed bythe International Chamber of Commerce, the Organization for EconomicCooperation and Development, the International Labor Organization, andthe United Nations. These organizations have promulgated codes of conduct for MNCs in areas such as technology transfer, consumer  protection, employment practices, human rights, and other areas.Is one approach preferred over another? According to Bowie, the moraluniversalism approach is preferable to the ethnocentrism or moral relativismapproaches.
2.
a) Define and explain the term societal culture.
(Chapter 3, pages 91-92)Societal culture (or, the culture of a society) comprises the shared values,understandings, assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of the society and are passed onto succeeding generations. Essentially, societal culture is learned andshared by and among members of that society. There are several variablecomponents of culture that determine attitudes of people towards work,time, materialism, individualism, and change. For example in U.S. culture,one is expected to be on time for appointments unlike some cultures wheretime is viewed as flexible.
b) Give examples of operational conflicts that could occur in a cross-cultural context because of different attitudes toward: 1) time, 2)change, 3) individualism. (Give of a country or region that would bedifferent from the United States for each of the three variables).
(Chapter 3, pages 105-107)
Time
: In many parts of the world time is looked upon on a different andlonger perspective than in the United States. Americans tend to view time asa valuable limited resource to be spent, saved and used judiciously. Time is precious and deadlines and schedules are not only important but are crucialin business situations. There are however, contrasting perspectives abouttime. For example, in Latin America, a common attitude towards time is
mañana
which usually means an indefinite time in the future. Similarly, theword
bukra
in Arabic can mean “tomorrow,” or “some time in the future.”While Americans usually regard a deadline as a firm commitment, Arabsoften regard a deadline imposed on them as an insult. They feel thatimportant things take a long time and should not be rushed.
Change:
The attitude towards
 
change
 
is directly related to a society’s belief in the extent to which it can control the future. Western societies
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generally believe that an individual can exert some control over the futureand can manipulate events, particularly in a business context. In contrast, inmany non-Western societies, people believe that their destiny is under thecontrol of external events, or the will of their God. The managerialimplications of this cultural characteristic are that while Americans or other westerners believe that they can change themselves as individuals (e.g.,improve their abilities as a leader), other societies may not believe suchchange is possible. Americans may also be more likely to hold individualsresponsible for creating change in an organization (e.g., improving performance), whereas other societies with place less faith in the ability of an individual to bring about such change.
Individualism:
Americans are high on “individualism”- they valueindividual achievement, accomplishments, and rewards highly. In contrast,certain societies (e.g., China) place emphasis on group goals and groupachievement. In China, a much more “we” consciousness prevails, and thegroup is the basic building block of social life and work. For the Chinese,conformity and cooperation take precedence over individual achievement,and the emphasis is on the strength of the family or community.3.
Explain each of Hofstede’s four culture dimensions (individualism,uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity), and discuss themanagerial implications of each. Give examples of countries that haveeach of the values.
(Chapter 3 , pages 100-103)
 
Hofstede’s model of the four dimensions that underlie organization behavior areas follows:
Power distance
: is defined as the level of acceptance by society of the unequaldistribution of power in institutions. In countries in which people display ahigh power distance (such as Malaysia, the Philippines, and Mexico) employeesaccept the boss’s authority and they seldom bypass the chain of command. Insuch societies, an autocratic management style is expected and works well. Inlow power distance societies (such as Austria, Denmark, and Israel), superiorsand subordinates regard each other as equal. In such societies, a moredemocratic style is expected and works well.
Uncertainty avoidance
: refers to the extent to which people in a society feelthreatened by ambiguous situations. People in societies where uncertaintyavoidance is high (such as Japan, Portugal, and Greece) tend to be highly risk 
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