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You are a strategic planner for a multinational corporation with a HQ in London, which owns and manages a tea plantation in China. The organisation’s advertising emphasises the organisation’s ‘partnership with the developing world’. In recent weeks, the organisation has been the subject of a series of critical articles in a national paper. The articles have contained detailed data about the pay and conditions on the plantations and have described those pay and conditions as exploitative. The newspaper has also commented unfavourably on the arr

The Case: You are a strategic planner for a multinational corporation with a HQ in London, which owns and manages a tea plantation in China. The organisation’s advertising emphasises the organisation’s ‘partnership with the developing world’. In recent weeks, the organisation has been the subject of a series of critical articles in a national paper. The articles have contained detailed data about the pay and conditions on the plantations and have described those pay and conditions as exploitative. The newspaper has also commented unfavourably on the arrangements, which the organisation has made with the country’s government for the repatriation of profits. The information in the articles has been accurate, and it is evident that a member of the organisation has been supplying the information, although the organisation has a rule that a member of staff ‘must not disclose commercial information to unauthorised persons’ and another one which says that ‘all contacts with the press must be handed by the properly authorised officers.’ At a social function, a member of your department inadvertently makes it plain that it is he who has been supplying the information to the newspaper. He immediately recognises what he has done and says you ‘must ignore what I’ve said or I’ll be sacked’. There are also reports that the plantation workers resent being managed by a manager who demonstrates individualist cultural traits and knows little about their culture, especially when one of the long serving planters is held in high regard by the locals. (Source: Adapted from “In the News”, Institute of Business Ethics. www.ibe.org

The task: As the strategic planner you are keen to ensure the company is free from scandal and maximises its partnership opportunity. Critically evaluate the ethical leadership issues raised in this multinational corporation and any other ethical considerations in deciding about what to do in response to the issues in this case. You should also consider the potential challenges and solutions associated with cross cultural management. Justify your recommendations drawing on the approach of other organisations to this issue. (LO 2,3,4,6&7) (4000 words) (100 marks

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