You are a business consultant to the National Minority Supplier Development Council. An international petroleum products distribution company, based in the U.S., consults with you on cultural diversity matters. It faces some complex choices at its overseas locations. While equal opportunity, affirmative action, and individual civil rights are the law of the land in the U.S., this frequently is not the case in other countries. Therefore when moral and legal issues run counter to host-country customs, problems are bound to arise.
Prepare an executive summary, briefly discussing the following specific topics:
Should U.S. civil rights laws apply to U.S. companies’ foreign operations? Express your opinion on this issue.
Describe a cultural diversity policy for the firm expanding overseas operations. Highlight any differences that might arise in some Middle Eastern countries where a distribution center is currently being built.
Explain the value of understanding the importance of, and complying with, the other country’s legal system while operating in a foreign country.
Americans tend to believe that the U.S. legal system is better than that of most other countries. Discuss the ramifications of this belief in an overseas, culturally diverse operation.
Labors Rights in International Business Operations
Should U.S. Civil Rights Laws Apply To U.S. Companies’ Foreign Operations?
Today, workplaces are growing and transforming to become more global and mobile. Subsequently, an increasingly high number of employers have expanded their operations beyond their home country’s boundaries resulting in more travel and international assignments for their employees (Renteln, 2013). Under this scenario, a controversial question that arises is whether the US civil rights should apply to US companies’ foreign operations.
To address this question, I believe that companies doing business internationally realize that they will be subjected to the laws of countries they operate or are intending to operate. It is without a doubt that a company establishing operations in a foreign land must comply with all the laws and regulations governing businesses and other commercial dealings (Renteln, 2013). Just as companies will incur all the costs required to comply with the laws and regulations of other countries, I consider that there should be no reason why the US civil rights should be violated because a company has taken its operations abroad. I believe that there is a universal convention on employee’s civil rights that demand that all employees be protected regardless of their citizenship or work authorization status. As such, I believe that US civil rights should be applied to US companies’ operations abroad as long as they don’t conflict with the laws and regulation on civil rights stipulated by the host country.
Describe a Cultural Diversity Policy for the Firm Expanding Overseas Operations
When a company decides to go international, it is likely to face new and unfamiliar challenges, but which are central to every day operations. Usually, culture is one of these obstacles that can affect the operations of the entire organization. Let us assume that a US company is contemplating of establishing operations in the Middle East. Unarguably, there are various cultural diversity policies that it must consider. Such a company is expected to undertake initiatives that are nondiscriminatory (Portes & Walton, 2013). Prior to implanting a policy, the company should ensure that it complies with the host country’s laws on discrimination. For instance, the company is expected to treat all employees with dignity and respect and pay all compensations and benefits fairly regardless of their gender, religion, age, or racial and ethnic background (Portes & Walton, 2013). Besides, all employees should have equal opportunities of growth and development, promotion, rewards and recognition, training, and transfer. However, a US company may find it tough complying with the Middle East labor laws, especially those pertaining women as employees. For example, employing a woman as a driver may be considered illegal and unacceptable.
Explain The Value of Understanding the Importance of and Complying with the Other Country’s Legal System While Operating in a Foreign Country
Whenever a company operating in a foreign country strives to understand the importance of and comply with the legal system of the host foreign country, then such a country may benefit from an array of advantages. Fundamentally, the company may avoid the hefty costs that come with noncompliance with the stipulated human rights and labor rights standards (Mosley & Singer, 2015). Besides, a company may avoid expensive court battles that may lead to a termination of its operations abroad. Moreover, complying with the laws and regulations of a foreign country may prevent reputational loss, but enhanced company’s operations (Mosley & Singer, 2015). Ultimately, a company can quickly accomplish its long term goals and objectives on growth and profitability.
Discuss the Ramifications of the Belief that That the U.S. Legal System Is Better Than That of Most Other Countries in an Overseas Culturally Diverse Operation
In overseas culturally diverse operations, the concept of American exceptionalism can’t prevail. Arguing that the US legal system is better than that of most other countries is inadmissible and invalid. Doing so would be implying that all US business going abroad should ignore the laws and regulations of the host country. From a legal perspective, I consider that all legal systems are governed by a universal convention focused on achieving common goals on human rights. As such, I believe that all legal systems are equal and the US legal system should not be classified as exceptional in comparison to those of other countries.