As we are always being reminded,
businesses operate globally.
International relations and politics
are no longer just the domains
of nation states,
big multinational companies
are also concerned
with international politics and order.
They are not above conflict
of national interest
and can be partisans of particular countries.
There may be a few companies
that are transnational
and are truly separate from national interest
and are citizens of the world.
however, have their origins
and their loyalties to particular countries.
multinationals were rooted in countries
that developed in the West and Japan.
But now companies such as Tata
which has its origins in India
have joined the phalanx
of global corporations.
and a lack of the rule of law
between and within states
are not good for business.
But corporations may still need
to do business in regions and countries
where those things are present
either because such places happen
to be the source of materials
the corporations consume
or simply because corporations
need to operate within them
to expand their markets.
This can create dilemmas for companies
when professed commitments
to being socially responsible
and strategic necessity clash.
If a company finds itself operating
in a country
in which there is the conflict
and absence of human rights or corruption,
how should it respond?
This is not a simple question to answer
as the following example illustrates.