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Barriers against Globalizing Corporate Ethics: An Analysis of Legal Disputes on Implementing U.S. Codes of Ethics in Germany

Till Talaulicar
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 84, Supplement 3: Global and Contextual Values for Business in a Changing World (2009), pp. 349-360
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27749673
Page Count: 12
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Barriers against Globalizing Corporate Ethics: An Analysis of Legal Disputes on Implementing U.S. Codes of Ethics in Germany
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Abstract

Global firms need to decide on the correspondence between their corporate ethics and the globalization of their activities. When firms go global, they face ethical complexities as they operate in different legal and cultural environments that may impact the admissibility and appropriateness of their approach to institutionalize and implement corporate ethics. Global firms may have good reasons to establish global codes of ethics that are to be obeyed by all employees worldwide. However, developing and implementing such codes can be rather difficult due to various, and partly competing, conditions in the countries of operation. In this article, two legal disputes are analyzed to illustrate some of the difficulties that may emerge when firms globalize their codes of ethics. I argue that these conflicts can be mitigated when firms carefully design their codes and the processes of code implementation.

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