Whistleblowing refers to a wide range of disclosures both within an organization and outside an organization. According to DE George, there are two types of whistleblowing in a business organization that includes internal and external whistleblowing. Internal whistleblowing occurs within organization workers reporting unethical behaviours or misconducts to the managers. Internal whistleblowing has an advantage in that, misconducts of some employees are availed to the company officials and this can help to prevent unnecessary losses to the business through taking necessary measures to the misconducting employees. However, most researches show that, it is difficult for employees to report most company misconducts due to the phobia of the retaliations that may result from the business and the belief that the latter would not respond to their reporting. On the other hand, external whistleblowing involves blowing the whistle from the organization to the external agencies such as mass media, law enforcement, and lawyers among others. An example is when employees report unethical behaviours or misconducts of the company to the government or to the mass media. External whistleblowing has helped to shame and topple many companies that have been mistreating and violating employees` rights (De George 2009).
However, there are circumstances where blowing the whistle is morally permissible. For example, when an employee realizes that the company`s product or policy may have serious consequences or predispose harm or injury to the consumers or to the bystanders. In addition, when the employee discovers a substantial threat to individuals who may be harmed by the same threat, then, the latter is justified to blow the whistle that should be accompanied by the statement of his or her moral concern. Moreover, the employee is justified to blow the whistle to the board of directors if he or she has raised his concern to his or her direct supervisors, but the latter has refused to respond (Snoeyenbos et.al P.13). However, before an employee blows a whistle he or she must have substantial reasons that he or she have valid and substantial reasons that show that revealing the misconduct or unethical practice to the public may result to the remedying the situation.
However, an employee is not morally permitted to blow the whistle in some circumstances. Some public whistle blowing requires a person to have fulfilled certain obligations of loyalty to the company he or she works at, before he or she is morally justified blowing the whistle concerning some traits of that company`s operations. For example, it is not morally permissible for an employee to publicly reveal some operations of the company where he or she works. The reason not justified is because, most acts of whistleblowing are termed as violating the loyalty to one`s employer. This situation makes the other employees and the employer see that employee as a traitor and someone who betrays the firm that he or she belongs (Heath & Eugene p. 59). In addition, it is morally wrong to blow the whistle to the public concerning a company`s operations without having valid and substantial reasons that supports his or her decision that motivated him or her to publicly raise the issue. In addition, whistle blowing that result from the falsification of records is also not morally allowed (Kolb & Robert p.74). Moreover, whistle blowing to a concern that would not result to preventing serious public harm, injury or even death are not morally justified.
Consecutively, some situations make whistle blowing to be not only morally permitted, but also morally required. For example, it is both morally allowed and required for any person to public reveal the company`s policies, products or both if he or she anticipate that, the latter will cause harm, injury or even death to the consumers. This whistleblowing would help to prevent the occurrence of these adverse effects to the public (Martin et.al p. 29).
Intellectual property is a legal terminology the refers to allocating exclusive rights to a wide range of intangible assets such as literary, musical, inventions and discoveries, artistic works, designs, phrases and symbols. Intellectual property rights include trademarks, industrial design rights, patents and copyright. An industrial right is an intellectual property right that safeguards the optical design of items that are not virtuously utilitarian. It consists of the formation of a given configuration, composition of colour or pattern, or shape, or even combination of colour and pattern in two or three dimensional form that is used to create a handicraft, product or an industrial commodity. Trademark is a distinguished expression, sign or design that marks services or products of a given source from the products or services of another source. The trademark owner can be a corporation, person or business organization. In addition, a trademark can be located in the voucher, product, package, and label or even displayed in company buildings for the purpose of corporate identity (Bouchoux & Deborah p.4).
Consecutively, a copyright is a legal term that is legislated by most governments to give the inventor of the original work comprehensive right to distribute and use it at a limited period. The purpose of giving these exclusive rights to an individual is to enable him or her to enjoy the compensation for their innovations and to financially maintain them. For example, copyright can be granted to an author of a certain book or to a photographer of a given photograph. Patent is a collection of exclusive rights that are given by a sovereign state to an assignee or an innovator for a specified period in an exchange of detailed public revealing of his or her invention. However, the invention must be a solution to a unique technological challenge and can be informed of a product or a process (Cole & Matthew 171). Moreover, the process of giving patents, conditions lay on the patentee and the scope of the exclusive rights depends on a given country according to its state laws and international agreements. These exclusive rights that are bestowed to a patentee involves the right of preventing other people from making, distributing, selling, using or importing a patented innovation without permission.
A copyright refers to exclusive rights that are given to an individual to by the legislature of a given state within a specified period in order to allow that individual to compensate him or her for his invention and to sustain him or herself. On the other hand, patent is exclusive legal rights that are given by a sovereign state to the person who innovated for a given period, in order to protect other people from selling, distributing, using or making a patented innovation without permission (Cole & Matthew 171).
Computer programs are patents since the inventor is given legal rights for a given period in order to protect other people from selling, distributing the programs without the permission of the inventor. For example, Bill Gates was given patents for innovating Microsoft computer program. When a program is developed within a given company, the company will be the legal owner of that program that is produced within its jurisdiction. This is because, the computer where that program was developed belongs to that company and anything that happens within the company is for the benefit of the company (Bouchoux & Deborah p.3).
There exists unfair competition between the multinational corporations and the local firms in the less developed countries that are contributed by various factors. For example, MNC`s are located in strategic points that would reduce transport costs either from the site of production to the markets or to the site of exportation. On the other hand, most local firms in the less developed countries are located in the outskirts of the cities and thus elevating the costs of transportation. In addition, the MNC`s employ high technological measures and skills in their production, packaging, designing among others and these technological measures are restricted from being used in the local firms. These technological advances make the MNC`s to operate at low costs in terms of labour force, production and packaging designs among others. This situation makes the latter lower the prices of their products and thus attracting more customers in the long run. Nevertheless, local firms in the LDC`s lack these technologies and thus require more labour workforce that increases the costs of production, making their produced goods become highly expensive which leads to fewer customer turnouts (Li, Quan & Rafael p. 33).
In addition, due to technological implementations in the `MNC`s, the production rate are high and this makes the latter to enjoy economies of scale. Some of the produced products are released to meet the increased demands in the host country that arises due to reduced costs of goods while the excess is exported to other countries. Besides, the less developed countries lowers the costs of international investments and this stimulates `MNC`s to invest, produce and save high returns (Rugraff, Eric & Michael pp. 13-79). On the other hand, local firms in the LDC`s face harsh taxations from the state and this hinder them from competing adequately with the MNC`s.
Multi-national corporations exploit less developed countries in a number of ways. For example, the MNP`s mostly operates in less developed countries with the ultimate aim of seeking the available resources in the LDC`s, cheap labour, markets for their products, tax relief and shelters among others. As a result of succeeding in attaining either of these resources, the opportunities of exploiting the LDC are uncountable. MNC`s pay employees in the LDC`s cheaply and this elevates the poor standards of living of these employees and violating their rights that make the former to highly benefit and reap high profits compared to local firms. Famous multi-national corporations such as Coca-Cola company, Nike and others have been exposing children to child labour, intimidating employees, providing harsh labour conditions and even hiring paramilitaries to kill or intimidate labour union leaders in the LDC`s.
In addition, the MNC`s manipulate the less developed countries policies in order to achieve their production objectives. For example, they manipulate the reduction of taxes of foreign investors and strongly avoid import and trade restriction. Furthermore, they take advance of their technological advances to manage the processing and the production of the natural resources such as gold, oil, valuable metals and others in the LDC`s. This control in the long run results, in the resources benefiting their economies at the expense of the LDC`s.
However, the MNC`s creates employment opportunities and produces goods or services to the host country at a reduced prices than the prices that can be produced by the local firms in that lee developed country.
De George suggests various guidelines for multinational operations. He argues that there should be the organization of economic co-operations and development (OECD) where the latter groups around thirty member states that share a common commitment in the market economy and demographic state. The OECD urges the thirty countries to have an active relationship with other countries, civil societies and the non-governmental organizations in order to accomplish a global reach. The work of OECD should cover social and economic issues from macro-economies to education, trade, science, innovations and development. The latter has the ultimate role in enhancing good governance both in corporate activity and the public service. In addition, the organization helps the governments of the member states to respond efficiently to major economic sectors with sectoral monitoring (De George 2009).
Furthermore, multinational corporations should avoid doing any deliberate harm, injury or death to the employees in the host country. According to De George, any multinational corporation that deliberately practice this moral principle violates the basic moral norm. Besides, the MNC`s should strive to do more good than harm to the host country. This principle suggests that the MNC`s can only ensure that their benefits outweigh the disadvantages to the host country by helping the latter to help rather than harming it. Furthermore, the MNC`s should focus their activities in developing the economy of the host countries. Failure to achieve this, the multinational corporations should be charged with exploitation of the host country for its own achievements at the expense of the less developed country. The latter should also respect and promote the rights its employees at should set the necessary payment standards and outline the standards of both health and safety measures (De George 2009). They also have the obligation of regularly contributing to fair share of taxes and should strive to observe the local cultures of the host countries. However, observing all these moral measures, there is obvious opportunities beyond reasonable doubts of creating an ethical globalization.
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