Monitoring Foreign Suppliers

Monitoring Foreign Suppliers

The case “Monitoring Foreign Suppliers: The Challenge of Detecting Unethical Practices” by Arthur Thomson discusses accusations of unethical decisions, practices and behavior in relation to businesses in Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, Korea and other less developed countries. It is argued that when manufacturing good these countries practiced unsafe working conditions, not descent wages and too long working hours. The problem is that nowadays many companies in developed and developed countries are aware of ways how to conceal unethical practices, rights abuses and unsafe working conditions.

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Corporate responsibility is paid less and less attention and it seems that the companies are thinking only of their own revenues and nothing more. Plant inspectors are often deceived by strategies aimed at concealing unethical behavior. Ways to conceal rights abuse are presented as: monitoring two sets of books; hiding the use of unsafe working conditions and underage workers; shifting secretly production to subcontractors; and coaching employees how to answer questions of plant inspectors. Companies which provide fair practices are General Electric, Nestle, Dell Corporation, Motorola, Toyota, etc. Nevertheless, Nike and Wall-Mart were several times accused of abusing human rights and working conditions. As a result, The Fair Factories Clearinghouse was established to create “a system for managing and sharing factory audit information which would facilitate detecting and eliminating sweatshops and abusive workplace conditions in foreign factories”. (C-421)

I think that situation with unethical practices can be applied to real world situations as many factories tend to abuse human rights and to provide unsafe work conditions. Ethical norms suggest honesty, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, justice and respect for others. Ethical norms and values play important role in maintaining harmony and stability in social life as ethics suggests proper ways of human-human interactions. Ethics recognizes human needs and aspirations, as well as cooperative efforts, fairness and truthfulness.

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