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Ethics and Knowledge Management

Role of Ethics for International Managers

Ethics in the corporate world has emerged as the most significant and highly superlative trend. However, there are other new trends and issues arising in the business and corporate world leading to create load on the organizations and consumers (Jackson, 2011). The global expansion in the business and corporate world has further enhanced the depth of the need to adopt ethical behavior by the international managers (Briscoe et al., 2008). In this view, social responsibility along with ethical behavior of the managers are of great significance, however, social responsibility and ethics are taken into account as separate issues, yet role of ethics is great in the determination of deeds of organizations to perform ethical role. The significant issue arises due to importance of ethical behavior for the international managers are the cultural diversity leading to diversification of ethical standards (Gupta, 2004).

Following the ethics and having appropriate ethical behavior by the managers or in the organization specifically in the international business, has become more important and its importance cannot be ignored when managers within organizations are dealing an international clients (Kumar& Steinmann, 1998). However, many organizations are more likely to pursue the ethics to avoid lawsuits, as the public scandals of business malfeasance are affecting the public perception about the firms but for international managers following appropriate ethical behavior are more than just legal need (Kline, 2010). According to Mead (2005), international organizations are increasingly facing the conflicting and uncertain business pressures while to overcome the pressures and conflict in the business, organizations are considering their ethical responsibility and developing ethical code of conduct.

thesis writing service can help both students and professionals to sort out the issues concerning the ethics in the business. In international businesses, managers are more likely to face ethical issues, as clients have become more sophisticated and now demand service with fair dealing (Carrigan et al., 2005). However, an international manager dealing with international clients across the globe does not only have to know the technical and business judgments, consultation and guidance in the practice of the business but the most important factor is to be aware of the legal systems, its complexities and decisions that charge the businesses (Phatak et al., 2008). With the passage of time, ethical conduct has become more pressing issue than it was ever before specifically for international managers. However, the increasing international operations have led the organizations to face the new changes including new business practices but at the same time, the operation of controlling the function is becoming complicated (Kumar& Steinmann, 1998). International organizations like Telenor are proposed to be stressing on the ethical conduct to avoid the misdeeds and other guilty acts that resulting in the costly burden (Lane et al., 2005). 

It is found that international managers in the organization involved in the business-to-business activity are having clients who demand their service provider to become creative, less costly, less time taking and communicative (Shong, 2008). In the result of such demand by clients, international organizations such as Telenor are required to make professional judgments based on the management consultation and standardized policy of the organization. Other reason for which role of ethics has increased for the international managers is the increased bankruptcies such as the case of Telenor, which witnesses ethical violation in the result of violating the most essentials of the ethics the fiduciary responsibility. 

It is found that managing the organizations across the border faces increased difficulties, and ethical dilemma increases those difficulties. As observed in the case of Telenor, Telenor as international business-to-business service provider, in first place tried to disrupt the business of the Altima and later was caught in numbers of troubles at international level. If it is commented, that Telenor has been facing these business issues due to lack of ethical approach in dealing the business, then it will not be an exaggeration.  However, there are numbers of other factor involved in the ethical dilemma of international business that must be known by the international managers (Deresky, 2006). It is found that political system, structure of law, economic development and cultural diversity are the crucial underpinned factor affecting the role of ethics in the international business (Phatak, 2006). In this regard, breaking the laws of other country is also unethical act of that organization, as similar happened when Farimex complained that Telenor is blocking the VimpelCom’s entry into the Ukrainian market while Telenor had no business in Siberia. However, it was an obligation yet creating barriers for other businesses is quite an unethical act, as no organization in the international market has right to create barriers for other organization.

According to Deresky (2006), there is diversification in the ethical standards of the nations and it becomes critically difficult for international managers to practice the ethics considering the standards of all nations. The difficulty arises due to fact that what is right in one nation is wrong in another nation, thus multinational firms have become sensitive to such differences and become able to pick a specific ethical standard. The selection of ethical standard by multinational organization should focus on the variations that are likely to exist across the societies. However, the most common ethical issues faced by the international managers are employment practices, corruption and human rights. Concerning the role of ethics for the international managers, addressing how managers are responding to this new changing trend is important. Multinational organizations hire different people from part of the world and offering the international services means great opportunities for the employees to use their skills, competencies and make the judgments based on the their own values and organizational values. (Shong, 2008). However, managers serving for the international organizations are keenly interested in the interpretation of their personal as well as organizational values when it comes to ethical issues.

When considering the response of the international managers to the ethical issues, it is significant to understand that personal values and beliefs are never changed or cannot be changed immediately in the environment of organization. Although, organizations, specifically international organizations have great influence on the employees and managers, yet organizations are likely to seek the managers with sound quality, knowledge and ability to perform in the cross-cultural environment. To deal with ethics in the international managers follow the code of ethics provided by the organizations, as managers as employee of the organization have to follow the organization-based judgment (Collins, 2009).

As defined in the theory of relativism, the points of view or opinion cannot have any definite truth or validity, having any relative subject value as per to differences in individual’s perception and their consideration (Geirsson& Holmgren, 2010). Thus, it can be stated that the ethical beliefs and principles are greatly associated with the individual cultural norms as well as his personal traits (Jones& Bos, 2007). However, the rightness and wrongness of an individual can be different from each other because there is not any definite universal code of conduct or ethical standards that could be implemented. It indicates that theory of rightness and wrongness is worth discussing from specific viewpoint or specific situation. 

According to Carrigan et al (2005), in the determination of the role of ethics for the international managers, circumstances and situations can play important role as not all salutation can be controlled by the organization and it is rather difficult in the international environment. Thus, organization is keen to utilize every possibility to control and manage the values and beliefs of the organization and hard to implement them. In the case of IKEA, it is commended that IKEA is fed up with the business environment of Russia as IKEA has run into trouble in Russia many times and lack of ethics conduct is considered as underlying reason for the business issues. If investigating the core competencies of the international organizations and others, it is found that international organizations follow their code of ethics that is quite different from the ethical standard of the country.

According to Deresky (2006), international managers greatly realize that there is immense significance of the laws of the nations and complying with their laws is the foremost responsibility of the international managers. A coursework writing service can be of immense help for such organisation to hire an expert to undertake a research. According to the concept of compliance with the national as well as international laws, organizations are increasingly facing the troubles with dealing the ethical issues because they do not identify the compliance of laws as essential part of their ethical code of conduct. In the given case, Telenor was confiscated of 30% stake in VimpelCom because the company had not complied with the laws of other nations. Responding to ethical requirements of an international business can be challenging for the international managers as to changing ethical standards from one nation to another but by creating notion of rightness and wrongness managers can make the decision-making considering the ethical norms easier and effective (Rothwell, 2001). Moreover, concerning the ethical challenges, it is important for managers to comprehend the foreign laws and their regulations to go along with organizational culture and code of ethics to determine how to respond to ethical challenges (Nelson& Quick, 2007).   

Knowledge Management

New trends and dynamically changing trends within the organizational business has brought about the requirement for the reassessment of the business process and organizational operation to ensure that the decision made by the organizations are able to keep the pace with the continuously changing business needs and corporate environment (Coakes, 2003). The most intimidating challenge being faced by the organizations these days is the provision of the best service to the service or product-based client by converting their worst service into better (Hawamdeh, 2008). However, the changing business needs and corporate environment has been found characteristically dynamic and continuously changing. This constantly changing needs within the organizations require conceptualization as well as re-conceptualization of knowledge management system within the organization because information system is practiced and researched in the organization as to utilize it as means to create core competency for the organization (Stary, 2007). 

Knowledge management, however, is defined as a systematic as well as integrative process (Mertins et al., 2003), through which organizations can coordinate their wide activities acquiring different features such as creating, saving and sharing, developing and deploying the information or knowledge that could help the organization to pursue its goals and objectives (Rollett, 2003). Through effective knowledge management process, organizations can remarkably create their collaborative as well as collective knowledge by employing the organizational learning into knowledge production as well as knowledge distribution (Maybury& Thuraisingham, 2002). The reasons why knowledge management is important for the organization and their business, it is significant to what extent the knowledge is within organization (Christensen, 2003). Organizations mainly rely on the information gained from market, competitors and processes, thus, collecting, managing and distributing the relative knowledge to benefit the organizational goals is the core purpose of the knowledge management in the organization (Montano, 2005).  

To find the reason why knowledge has become important for the organization, it is also significant to understand the intensity of need for knowledge in the organization (Liebowitz, 1999). Knowledge is required in every organization to pace with the global need of business while increased use of technology as well as organizational change has also enabled the organizations to depend on the knowledge for their business success (Frappaolo, 2006). The valuation of knowledge within organization boundary cannot be limited as to the input for the business operation or business process (Koulopoulos& Frappaolo, 1999). In today’s world of information technology, knowledge is taken into account as the major goal and output of the organization (Awad& Awad, 2004). This could be understood by the example of the industrial economy, which is based on the production of goods as well as services, is similar to the global knowledge economy that is based on the development, management and distribution of the knowledge (Becerra-Fernandez& Sabherwal, 2010).         

However, the key purpose of effective management of knowledge in the organization is to develop an organization-based culture that comprehend the significance of knowledge and use it to process the knowledge into practice (O'Dell et al., 2000). Furthermore, knowledge management is widely used to increase the value for the customers by acquiring, developing and sharing the relevant knowledge to the firms and its corporate environment both inside and outside of the organization (Davenport& Prusak, 2000). Organizations consider their external boundaries as to products and services while use the knowledge for competing against the changing requirements of the global business world (Becerra-Fernandez& Sabherwal, 2010). The new business environment has more emphasized on the organization to become creative and it is resulting in the organizations’ efforts to make analysis and plans for the strategic business through knowledge management that they have and that they will have in the future (Dalkir, 2007).    

Organizations to become competitive must identify and develop the current available knowledge while gaining new knowledge to use it in the future can also be bifacial (Christensen, 2003). Organization keeping the knowledge through creating archive for the organizational memories and systems that enables an effective as well as efficient implementation of the knowledge in the firms (Frappaolo, 2006). The traditional and conventional business model of organization motivated by the strategic planning and objectives of the organizations is aimed at recognizing the increased efficiency of the organization business and market while knowledge management system within organization is widely associated with the performance and control (Becerra-Fernandez& Sabherwal, 2010). The union of the organizations to hold the organizational process is developed into formal as well as informal knowledge management. Such operational process of the organization objectives for comprehending the increased effectiveness is appropriate for the time that is characterized by the relatively firmed and predictable corporate environment (Awad& Awad, 2004). However, considering this model as appropriate model for knowledge management in the electronic commerce is not adequate because such model of business is featured with the radical as well as unpredictable changes in the corporate environment (Dalkir, 2007).      

However, the concept-based definition of knowledge management describes the knowledge as information-based organization as well as organization learning. In this view, knowledge management cannot denote to only development, saving and distribution of knowledge but rather it is part of organization culture, in which knowledge management is integral subset as well as independent following the wide term of concepts for the knowledge management (Coakes, 2003). Many concept-based definitions of knowledge management has stressed the importance of human as significant part of the knowledge management, in which individuals and groups by using their ability to produce, share and manage the knowledge are able to focus on the core purpose of the organization (Christensen, 2003).

The recognized importance of human as essential factor in the knowledge management, there is close relationship between productivity of organization and organization culture led by the knowledge management within organization (Becerra-Fernandez& Sabherwal, 2010). However, before considering the role of organizational culture in the knowledge management, it is important to differentiate between knowledge management and information management. All knowledge in the organization starts with the information, therefore; many organizations take the knowledge management as information management (Rollett, 2003). Within organizations, the process of knowledge management starts with the creation as well as implementation of the specific information technology. Moreover, the cultural perspective of the knowledge management is the base of the fact that organizations are composed of employees, and the level of interaction amongst the employees in a social perspective feeds to the knowledge management in the organization (Stary, 2007). It is found that social system and organizational culture in which employees work is the social environment and social environment includes the culture, information system and business process, and corporate structure and multiple management leadership levels within organization environment (Coakes, 2003).  

It is found that organization culture within organization actually leads to formal as well as informal anticipations of the individuals working in the environment while it also defines the kind of individuals appropriate for the organization. Thus, under the organizational culture, the interaction occurs amongst the employees inside and outside the organization affects the knowledge management within organization (Christensen, 2003). To have effective knowledge management largely depends on the effective organization culture pinned in the people in the organization requiring them to have an effective knowledge management system. However, numbers of managers identify the importance of culture but they find it difficult to describe the knowledge management along with organizational culture. Thus, knowledge management, today, within organization is inseparable and have close relationship with each other.

With this view, the way knowledge is managed within organization can be understood by the complexity theory, which relates the knowledge management within organization to organizational learning (Koohang& Harman, 2008). According to complexity theory, knowledge management system is the most creative phase and at this stage, emergent behaviors arise without any reason (Passiante, 2004). Thus, the knowledge management system and organizational learning is actually present between chaos and order. However, the complexity theory indicates the complex system of the organizational learning and knowledge management; it generates specific behavior of individual to achieve the goals of the organization (Curlee& Gordon, 2010). Thus, specific behavior of individuals and patterns of the system increases the efficiency of the system to respond to changes in the environment.     

However, organization learning and knowledge management are closely related to each other, as they both share equal role of management in the learning. Under the theory of complexity, organizational learning and knowledge management is defined as the process accruing in the organization. The theory of chaos can also be described to discuss and identify the important learning process within organization, because chaos theory describes the system as semi-confusing information systems as well as nonlinear feedback networks. According to chaos theory, the innovation required in the knowledge management and organizational learning results from the informal shadow networks of individuals who are mainly interested in the same problem (Maier, 2007). Thus, the creativity is endorsed and reinforced by the informal shadow network of individuals and organizations are considered to allow their employees to perform by keeping themselves complete informed and trust their decision-making power by getting input from their formal as well as informal structure (Pauleen& Gorman, 2011).

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