Complex Problem: Censorship


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An Interdisciplinary Approach
Global Business & Business Ethics

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  • (Finneren, 2008; ZDNet, 2006)
  • (Chappatte, 2006)
  • (Bohner, 2005)
  • (Dunham, 2011)
  • (Nath, 2010)
  • (Nath, 2010)
  • (Business Dictionary, n.d.)
  • (Business Dictionary, n.d.; Goldstein, 2007)
  • (Business Dictionary, n.d.)
  • (Encyclopedia, n.d.)
  • (Johansson, 2010)
  • (J83, 2006)
  • (Beaumont, 2008;Google, n.d.; Reagan, 2009)
  • (Allie, 2006)
  • (Esquivel, 2011)
  • (Veneziani, 2009)
  • Complex Problem: Censorship

    1. 1. C<br />
    2. 2. E<br />
    3. 3. N<br />
    4. 4. S<br />
    5. 5. O<br />
    6. 6. R<br />
    7. 7. S<br />
    8. 8. H<br />
    9. 9. I<br />
    10. 10. P<br />
    11. 11.
    12. 12. F<br />complex problem<br />CHINESE GOVERNMENT<br />CENSORSHIP<br />
    13. 13. F<br />how do government censors patrol the internet? <br />“<br />Every time a person types in a web address on a computer in China, the request goes through a series of filters. Thousands of censors working for the government use these filters to seek out sensitive topics and block access to sites deemed <br />anti-government. <br />”<br />
    14. 14. F<br />interdisciplinary question<br />
    15. 15. F<br />interdisciplinary question<br />What are the consequences of technology companies’ participation in Chinese internet censorship?<br />
    16. 16. F<br />personal thoughts<br />Censorship causes blindness.<br />Can you see who is blinding you?<br />
    17. 17. F<br />personal thoughts<br />I view the Chinese government’s censorship of information as unethical. Free expression and the free flow of information is a human right. <br />I acknowledge that the Chinese market is very lucrative and that a company’s goals are to pursue growth opportunities and earn profit. The Chinese people should also have access to internet services. <br />However, complying with censorship rules would eventually tarnish a technology corporation’s image and lead them to compromise their values. <br />
    18. 18. F<br />disciplinary perspective #1<br />
    19. 19. F<br />disciplinary perspective #1<br />Global Business<br />I chose the Global Business perspective to better understand:<br /> • benefits of participating in the Chinese market<br /> • policies and goals of companies<br /> • expectations of growth<br /> • responsibilities to shareholders <br /> • economic and social impact <br />Global Business deals with the challenges Western companies face when conducting activities in a culturally different and complicated environment. <br />
    20. 20. F<br />disciplinary perspective #2<br />
    21. 21. F<br />disciplinary perspective #2<br />Business Ethics<br />The morality of doing business, specifically in China, requires an overview of:<br /> • human rights<br />  • freedom of speech <br /> • access to information<br /> • reflections on company philosophy<br /> • impact on the Chinese people<br /> • morality of censorship<br />Business ethics addresses with the potential human costs of complying with censorship laws. <br />
    22. 22. F<br />key theories: global business<br />Rational Choice Theory<br /> • humans act rationally<br /> • choices are analyzed by likely costs and benefits<br /> • goals:<br /> • maximize gain • minimize loss<br />Supply and Demand<br /> • price is determined by demand for a product and <br /> the supply for a particular price<br />
    23. 23. F<br />key theories: global business<br />Opportunity Cost<br /> • making a choice means giving up the benefits <br /> associated with an alternative choice<br />International Relations<br /> • deals with state interactions and policy making <br /> • three core principles:<br /> • dominance<br /> • reciprocity<br /> • identity<br />
    24. 24. F<br />key theories: business ethics<br />Utilitarianism<br />• the greatest happiness for the greatest number of <br /> people<br />• end result determines morality<br /> • pleasure -> right <br /> • pain -> wrong<br />Social Responsibility<br />• organizations have an obligation to act in ways that <br /> benefit of society<br />
    25. 25. F<br />key theories: business ethics<br />Stakeholder Theory<br /> • corporations are affected by numerous individuals <br /> and groups including: <br /> • customers • suppliers<br /> • employees • media <br /> • communities • government<br /> • financiers • investors<br /> • the goal is to maximize the value for ‘stakeholders’<br /> • contrasts with view that maximizing profit for <br />stockholders is a corporation’s only responsibility<br />
    26. 26. F<br />common ground<br />Utilitarianism and Rational Choice<br />An important part of doing business is evaluating the potential costs and benefits of every action and decision. <br />A company’s main goal is to maximize ‘pleasure’, or in the words of business, ‘profit’ and ‘gain’. <br />It seeks to avoid ‘pain’, i.e. ‘loss’ and ‘disadvantage’. <br />
    27. 27. F<br />common ground<br />
    28. 28. F<br />common ground<br />Pleasure, Profit, and Gain<br />Participating in the world’s second largest economy assures future growth and ability to generate revenue. <br />Companies seek to comply with Chinese censorship laws to gain access to the 485 million Chinese web users. <br />Relations with powerful Chinese government are strengthened by obedience and sensitivity to laws — leading to greater cooperation. <br />
    29. 29. F<br />common ground<br />
    30. 30. F<br />common ground<br />Pain, Loss, and Disadvantage<br />Disadvantages of compliance:<br /> • loss of international reputation<br /> • violation of human rights<br /> • risk of angering stakeholders<br /> • threat of legislation from other countries <br /> (namely, USA) <br />
    31. 31. F<br />common ground<br />Pleasure, Profit, and Gain<br />An important consideration is technology companies’ stated visions and goals. <br />… a computer on every desk and in every home …<br />— Bill Gates (Microsoft)<br />Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessibleand useful.<br />— Google<br />Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.<br />— Facebook<br />“<br />”<br />“<br />”<br />“<br />”<br />
    32. 32. F<br />common ground<br />Pain, Loss, and Disadvantage<br />Failure to comply with censorship laws will result in:<br /> • breaking Chinese laws <br /> • licenses being revoked <br /> • blockage of services and support<br />Not participating in the Chinese market preventstechnology companies from fulfilling their mission of providing services to people from all over the world. <br />
    33. 33. F<br />contradictions<br />
    34. 34. F<br />contradictions<br />Shareholder vs. Stakeholder<br />Decision-making involves determining whether an action is good for the future and growth of the company. <br />Corporations have a responsibility to generate returns and profits for shareholders. <br />On the other hand, they also have a responsibility towards the larger community and have been charged to value human rights. <br />
    35. 35. F<br />contradictions<br />Shareholder vs. Stakeholder<br />Businesses seek to innovate and expand their operations overseas. <br />From a Global Business perspective, this requires complying with local laws, customs, and expectations. <br />From a Business Ethics perspective, however, compliance is dependent on the impact on society and its effect on the interests of those they serve. <br />
    36. 36. F<br />integration<br />
    37. 37. F<br />integration<br />Weighing Options<br />From the common assumption that all companies desire what is best for their interests: <br />• When doing business in China, companies <br /> should weigh the benefits and costs from a <br /> rational perspective. <br /> • Any analysis of the situation should expand to <br /> take into consideration a company’s <br /> relationships with all stakeholders, not only <br /> shareholders. <br />
    38. 38. F<br />integration<br />Definitions<br />Definitions for ‘good’ or ‘evil’ can be expanded to include not only profits or losses, but also social and ethical gains or disadvantages. <br />
    39. 39. F<br />conclusion<br />Moral Compromise? <br />Complying with local laws and regulations are an essential part of conducting business worldwide. <br />Companies have a responsibility to acquiesce to the wishes of the government if they want to continue their operations in China. <br />
    40. 40. F<br />conclusion<br />
    41. 41. F<br />conclusion<br />Moral Compromise? <br />Chinese society certainly benefits from the ‘good’ of increased access to internet services. <br />The ‘evil’ of helping in the obstruction of the free flow of information to citizens must be weighed against the alternative of providing no information at all.<br />
    42. 42. references<br /> Augsburg, T. (2005). Trends in the 21st century interdisciplinary workplace. Becoming interdisciplinary: An introduction to interdisciplinary studies (2nd ed., pp. 155-158). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. <br />Beaumont, C. (2008, June 27). Bill Gates’ dream: A computer in every home. In The Telegraph. Retrieved from<br />Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Opportunity cost. Retrieved from<br />Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Rational choice theory. Retrieved from<br />Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Utilitarianism. Retrieved from<br />Dunham, M. (2011). Assignment 1-5: Identifying a problem and justifying an interdisciplinary response. Retrieved from<br />Encyclopedia of Business. (n.d.). Stakeholder Theory. Retrieved from <br />Reagan, G. (2009). The evolution of Facebook’s mission statement. In The New York Observer. Retrieved from<br />Goldstein, J. S. (2007). Core principles of international relations theory. In International Relations (8th ed.). Retrieved from<br />Google. (n.d.). Corporate information: Company. Retrieved from <br />
    43. 43. photo credits<br />Allie, E. (2006, February 27). Cyber oppression. [Illustration]. Retrieved from{01B26A8E-76A6-47ED-AF11-37FB7A3C8FCA}<br />Bohner, A. (2005, September 12). Censorship causes blindness. [Illustration]. Retrieved from<br />Chappatte. (2006, February 17). Google censors itself in China. [Illustration]. In International Herald Tribune. Retrieved from <br />Esquivel, A. (2011). Capitalismo sin libertad. [Illustration]. Retrieved from{C029CC0E-B0BA-451F-A5CE-FB4B01A869F6}<br />Finneren, R. (2008, August 2). Chacha and Jingjing. [Photograph]. Retrieved from <br />Hoesly, P. (2010, February 2). 541 - pixelation texture. [Illustration]. Retrieved from<br /> (2006, May 15). Google's censored Chinese search engine. [Illutration]. Retrieved from <br />Johansson, O. (2010, August 23). Second largest economy. [Illustration]. Retrieved from{D04B975B-1013-4660-B1ED-1E392C958761}<br />Nath, P. (2010, January 15). China versus Google. [Illustration]. Retrieved from{19391F69-81D3-4A1D-9D6A-3015CBCE7071}<br />Veneziani, V. (2009, June 8). China demands PC censorship. [Illustration]. Retrieved from<br />ZDNet. (2006, July 19). Image: Jingjing and Chacha, China's cartoon censorship cops. Retrieved from<br />
    44. 44. the end<br />