NES China: Business Ethics (A)
(8 pages of text)
NES is one of Germany's largest industrial manufacturing groups. The company wants to set up a holding company to facilitate its manufacturing activities in China. They have authorized representatives in their Beijing office to draw up the holding company application and to negotiate with the Chinese government for terms of this agreement. In order to maximize their chances of having their application accepted, the NES team in Beijing hires a government affairs coordinator who is a native Chinese and whose professional background has familiarized her with Chinese ways of doing business. NES's government affairs coordinator finds herself in a difficult position when she proposes that gifts should be given to government officials in order to establish a working relationship that will better NES's chance of having its application approved. This method of doing business is quite common in China. The other members of the NES team are shocked at what would be considered bribery and a criminal offence in their country. The coordinator must find a practical way to bridge the gap between working within accepted business practices in China and respecting her employers' code of business ethics. The complementary (B) case (9B01C030) gives a brief summary of the eventual solution to this problem.
China, Large, 1998
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