Outsourcing manufacturing activities from a local community to the developing countries is a decision that raises different opinions for varied organizations, community members as well as the workers in the foreign nations. The ethicality of the whole process needs to be considered in such a way that the process does not have adverse consequences to the progress of the community. Several scholars have related the process of outsourcing manufacturing to a developing country with the need for an organization to reduce on the cost of production as well as exploit the labor readily available in the developing nations. This paper, therefore, addresses the ethicality of outsourcing while considering different ethical frameworks.
The general ethical perspectives, four lens model of world view development as well as the biblical principles all advocate for the need to consider ethical systems applicable, workable and preferred in any environment an organization operates in. Biblically, the need to outsource manufacturing to the developing countries would be a suitable decision for an organization considering the socio-economic disparities that exist in the developing nations. However, there are ethical issues that link to the biblical requirement of the need to be honest, comply with personal responsibility, being a servant, operate on responsible profits as well as ensure fair payments given to the labor provided by the workers in the developing nations. Romans 12:7 puts it clear on the need for everyone to do everything in a way that shows honesty. This implies that the organizations outsourcing the manufacturing process need to be clear with the nature of operations and the reasons for their actions such that it would not be seen as a way of taking advantage of the weak labor in the developing nations.
There is need to serve others as one would have wished to be served the same way Christ served humanity according to Mathew 20: 28. By serving everyone with honesty and fairness, then an organizational culture could be viewed as one that is socially responsible for the well-being of the disadvantaged communities. Luke 6: 31 stresses on the need to treat everyone as you would wish them to do the same. This implies that organizations outsourcing their manufacturing processes need to identify themselves with the fact that in the end, God will hold everyone accountable for their actions. The other key biblical principle that comes about is the need for fair payment since in most cases, labor from the developing nations is relatively cheaper. However, there is need for fair payment such that the intentions are seen as meeting Christ’s standards as biblically required.
The general ethical perspectives create the need for ethical considerations when outsourcing manufacturing activities to the developing nations. Utilitarianism requires organizations to do good for the greatest number of people. This implies considering the consequences to the community such that their actions should supersede personal interests. There is, therefore, need to do what is morally upright regardless of the consequences. Outsourcing manufacturing to the developing nations needs to address the social and economic inequalities that persist in the developing nations. This implies that there is need to consider ethical considerations to protect the interest of least advantaged communities through justice and fairness. Altruism addresses the need to love one’s neighbors as it is a command of God. This implies that the executives need to focus on the need to conduct their affairs in ways that show the qualities of the organization as caring, trustworthy and caring about diversity.
The four lens model of world view development addresses the need for global approach on accommodating diversity as well as ensuring the actions of management are centered on conformance to biblical principles as well as reliance on academics to develop logical reasoning. Developing a critical view of cultural diversity across nations is important since it is the only way in which an organization can comply with the ethical expectations in a society. There is need to develop a logical approach on the ways in which outsourcing could benefit the developing nations in ways that improve the social economic status of the developing world.
Outsourcing of manufacturing to developing nations is a good decision but there is need to consider the motives behind the actions taken by the organization. This is because intentions such as ones meant to cut on the production costs by underpaying workers are unethical and, therefore, raise the question on whether the organization is aware of the need for ethical corporate responsibilities.
Having a predetermined ethical framework is important as it helps an organization understand the circumstances that surround decisions involving outsourcing manufacturing activities to developing nations. The organizations in this case are able to determine the socio-economic needs and the importance of involving relevant stakeholders in ethical dialogue. A pre-determined ethical framework is the only tool that can be used to address shared values, implement institutional arrangements as well as ensure the decisions are focused on developing the interests of the society and those of the organization.
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