International Business

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Date Submitted: 09/10/2014 09:26 PM

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Ethics and Social Responsibility in International Business

Chapter Objectives

After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Describe the nature of ethics.

2. Discuss ethics in cross-cultural and international contexts.

3. Identify the key elements in managing ethical behavior across borders.

4. Discuss social responsibility in cross-cultural and international contexts.

5. Identify and summarize the basic areas of social responsibility.

6. Discuss how organizations manage social responsibility across borders.

7. Identify and summarize the key regulations governing international ethics and social responsibility.


OPENING CASE: BP Safety First or Profits First

The opening case discusses BP, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, together with some other situation where it would appear that BP placed a greater emphasis on lowering costs and increasing profits in lieu of safety.

Key Points

• On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig operating in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 and injuring 17.

• BP had the contract to complete an exploratory well in the mile deep water in the Macando Project.

• After an independent investigation, it was suggested that BP was more concerned with controlling costs than promoting safety.

• After the Deepwater Horizon incident, the Board of directors replaced CEO John Browne.

• BP’s commitment to safety has been questioned, although BP continues to assert that safety is their number one priority.


Chapter Five focuses on ethics and corporate social responsibility. It starts by working its way through definitions of ethics and then focuses on ethics in business. From there, it moves to a...