http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_it_ethical_for_a_foreign_company_to_pay_a_Ghanaian_worker_far_less_than_a_foreign_national_to_perform_the_same_jobIs it ethical for a foreign company to pay a Ghanaian worker far lessthan a foreign national to perform the same job?Answer:yes because foreigners have:1.experience than the local people2.they believe time is money3.they are high in technology4.they have the adequate skills5.they boost the moral of working
Saylor.org / Blog / ePortfolio / Register or LoginDiscussion Forums › Forums › Business Administration › BUS205 › ethicsThis topic has 4 voices, contains 8 replies, and was last updated by OsmanMusah 54 days ago.Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)October 6, 2012 at 12:01 am #1715Osman MusahSubscriberhttp://forums.saylor.org/topic/ethics/is it ethical for a foreign company to pay a Ghanaian worker far lessthan a foreign national to perform the same job?October 6, 2012 at 6:23 am #1718CuySubscriberFirst off: I think your question would really belong into a sociological forum – that being absent (andthe course title being “business law and ethics”), I’ll try to give my personal, unprofessional view.The short answer: No. This practice is not ethical.The long answer: Businesses, especially publicly traded ones, will strive for maximizing profits. Thatmeans they will try everything to get the best possible ratio from input to output. An international company will rationalize that the average living standard in Ghana is lower than inthe home country of the higher-paid worker, that the higher paid individual had to move for the joband/or that they are more experienced or have been with the company for a longer time.
However, the pay difference won’t be noted in the home-country of the company, so the public (thetarget market) is ignorant of this practice. For example: Coca Cola built a bottling facility in India in 1998. In 2003 it became apparent, that thefacility used up too much water – ground water levels in the area dropped. The water became toosalty to drink or to water fields – Coca Cola caused a drought.But because it was half way around the world for large parts of their market, these unethicalbusiness practices didn’t cause a problem for them (with “a problem” meaning a significant loss ofmoney for the company).I guess the same holds true for your scenario: It does not make sense to pay local workers equally,simply because it won’t change the public perception of the company at home. And because theaverage income in Ghana is around 600 $US per month (Wikipedia told me, please correct me if I’mwrong), they reason that the pay is fair in respect of the local normal income for the job.October 11, 2012 at 4:34 am #1737Joey SmithSubscriberI’m not quite sure I followed your logic all the way through, there, Cuy; because Coca-Cola usedunsustainable practices in an India bottling plant, paying local workers based on the local economy isunethical? I don’t see the correlation at all. Let me be clear, if your story is 100% accurate (I’m notgoing to bother fact checking it, we can stipulate accuracy for sake of the discussion) then Coca-Coladid a terrible thing; what does that have to do with the ethics of paying workers in terms of theforeign market instead of in terms of the domestic market?For this topic, I would personally like to direct people to the second series of the “Ethics in America”lecture series from the Fred Friendly Seminars. The sixth episode in this series, “Risk, Reward,Responsibility: Ethics in Business”, covers an example very close to what we’re discussing here.There are some very good discussions in the episode that talk about ways that a business canETHICALLY participate in foreign economies without discarding their entire opportunity for a lowercost of business; in other words, I don’t think you can argue in complete abstract that it’s unethicalto paying a Ghanaian worker “X” for a job that a citizen of (say) the United States would demand X*Yto perform – in fact, if a business desires to be ethical, outsourcing certain jobs can actually be reallygood for the foreign economy, giving people opportunities that might not otherwise have ever beenavailable to them, and plowing money into local infrastructure to allow these corporations to meetstandards of quality of service, while still being sensitive to local standards in work environment andcultural needs.
This reply was modified 70 days ago by Joey Smith.October 14, 2012 at 6:33 am #1750CuySubscriber@ Joey SmithIf people were paid in terms of the local economy, then why does the foreign worker earn more? The core of the question, how I understand it, is not why the Ghanaian worker in Ghana earns lessthan a US worker in the US, but why the Ghanaian worker in Ghana earns less than a US worker inGhana.Equal pay for equal work. I don’t see why people of color, age or gender (let’s face it, women aretreated like a minority) should earn less than anybody else for doing the same job.My mentioning of Coca Cola was just an example how business practices with disastrousconsequences for a foreign region are mostly ignored in the rest of the world. That gives bigcorporations the freedom to behave however they like, as long as the shareholders are happy.I’m not blaming you for not fact checking the story. But it seems like you haven’t heard of thisbefore, and that is exactly the point I wanted to get across – you don’t know of the unethicalpractices of a corporation, thus your opinion (and more importantly: your behavior as a customer) isnot affected by it.October 14, 2012 at 7:17 am #1751Joey SmithSubscriberTo address what you called out as “the core of the question”, I’m not sure what a “US worker inGhana” is, in this context; are you suggesting that if a US employee of Acme Corp goes to Ghana –
let’s say either as a consultant, or as a temporary worker during some kind of off-shoring spin-up –that the US worker should be paid in terms of the Ghanaian economy for that term? Unless it’s acompletely isolated individual, the US worker still has to cover bills in their US economy, whichmeans to pay them in terms of a lower economy is not only unethical, it’s impractical in the extreme.A “US worker in Ghana” by this definition quite obviously should be paid in terms of the USeconomy, because he’s employed as someone whose compensation has to match the local economyof his primary residence. If there’s some other definition of the term that makes your assertionsmake more sense, I really don’t see what it is.I don’t believe that color, age, or gender should affect pay, but paying according to the cost of livingfor the individual is perfectly ethical. The cost of living for an individual living in Accra, Ghana(chosen based on what data I could find in Google) is roughly 2 orders of magnitude lower than forthe part of the US where I live for, even a modest standard of living; how would it be ethical to pay aforeign national (who likely has to maintain two different residences) the same amount that you paya local employee? “Equal pay” does need to mean “same exact dollars to everyone regardless oflocale”; we must consider the buying power of the money we give people in compensation, not justthe overall numerical figure.I agreed with your assertion that unethical is unethical – changing the locality doesn’t make it lessso; however, as I don’t consume Coca-Cola products, I can’t say I voraciously consume news mediareports on their corporate practices. My “behaviour as a (non-)customer” is sufficiently affected bythe fact that they produce a filthy, habit-forming, chemical-ridden poison and market it as arefreshing drink. Knowing that didn’t require me knowing their practices regarding Indiagroundwater, but merely looking at what they do as a company; and I think in most cases, you canarrive at sufficient conclusions about most multi-national companies based on their behaviour intheir country of origin.Yes, there are unethical companies out there; yes, some of them might use the current state ofmultinational law to escape or evade the side-effects of certain business practices. I think we can allgrant that these events are deplorable, but also are not particularly relevant to the question of“Should a foreign national get paid in terms of the economy of their primary residence, or of theeconomy in which they are (presumably temporarily) being employed”.This reply was modified 67 days ago by Joey Smith.This reply was modified 67 days ago by Joey Smith.This reply was modified 67 days ago by Joey Smith.
October 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm #1761CuySubscriberI’ve noticed that I based my posts on my personal moral views, rather than a sense of businessethics. I probably should not have done this. It’s sad that the OP does not seem to be around anymore, to specify their case. So we are bothworking on different assumptions as to the nature of the company and the people working there.I’m afraid, this way we can turn around in circles forever.So unless the OP cares to define the circumstances a little more precisely, I really don’t want toargue about this topic.Let’s just say that I generally agree with you, Joey. I guess I was really questioning, why there wouldbe a foreign worker (doing the same job) in the first place and assuming too much about the natureof their stay.October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1764Joey SmithSubscriberI agree, without more info from the original author, we’d probably just spin around the topicforever; but thanks for the great discussion, Cuy! Sometimes just having the conversation can forceyou to think through things that maybe hadn’t even occurred to you before, and I definitely foundvalue in engaging with you on this. :)October 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #1862Nathan ThompsonForum Moderator
Joey and Cuy, thank you so much for this debate. We love to see this kind of back and forth at theSaylor Foundation. Thanks!October 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm #1892Osman MusahSubscriberThank you all very much for taking time to delibrate on this topic.am so sory for beign out of thediscussion as it progress.i had little problem that took me away from the net for some time.@Cuywhat i meant was ,both workers reides in Ghana.thanks so much,i appreciate your contributions andam most grateful for that.God richly bless you.Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)You must be logged in to reply to this topic.Welcome!
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