One of the biggest questions facing any company when opening operations abroad is exactly how to conduct their business practices in specific foreign commercial environments. And while many prominent business thinkers over the years have advocated a policy of “adaptive ethics” for their overseas activities, there is growing evidence that such an approach is actually counterproductive – and bad for business.
While historically many large enterprises have adopted a policy of foreign business ethics that adapt and conform to local practices, this inherently inconsistent approach to pursuing organizational success has been demonstrated to cost more than it gains, and to be unsustainable as a long-term strategy.
There is no disputing that the competitive environment for companies operating in foreign countries has never been greater than it is today. And as transportation infrastructure and information technology continue to improve and extend their reach, the struggle for overseas success only intensifies. But this only underscores the need for an approach to foreign business ethics that adheres to one consistent standard.