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Trade Routes: The Ten Commandments of Global Business

By: Michael Wynne
Posted: October 2, 2007

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This age of increased scrutiny does, however, produce opportunities for companies that are perceived as good corporate citizens to benefit from that general awareness. Such companies equitably create a friendly consumer environment that, in the end, generates continuing profitability. It is not merely a question of image but of what said image is made of.

Prepare for Perceptions of Unfairness
The level of protest against globalization signals the degree of disparity people sense. Although there are some protesters who have personal and political agendas, the majority of protesters have legitimate, morally pointed concerns—notably against corporations that ignore local interests and sovereignty. Regardless of whether such claims are true, those who voice them believe global corporations exploit countries for their own benefit. There is the perception that companies take the lion’s share of benefits while local economies and workforces receive only a pittance for their contributions. In essence, globalization is often seen as an unfair practice.

Given these perceptions, how should ethical companies behave in the global markets? Ethical business behavior is simply good business practice, no matter where, and it pays off in better customer relations and greater profits. Ethical business is simply good business.

The present international market structure can confuse; scenarios can be hard to define from an ethical point of view. By way of response, International Management Consulting Associates has developed The Ten Commandments of Global Business to help businesses cut through that confusion and come up with better, safer, more ethical, and, in the end, more profitable solutions.

1. Generate Wealth for Constituents Everywhere
It is unacceptable to exploit the citizens or resources of one country to benefit owners and employees in another. A company should create wealth that benefits the communities in which it operates.

2. Treat Each Market as Unique
This is the key to success: think globally, market locally. Some products and services can cross borders without modification; most can’t. Focus on local needs; then adapt, adapt, adapt!