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Corporate Communication

Critical Business Asset for Strategic Global Change

Michael Goodman and Peter B. Hirsch

The communication role in organizations has changed, just as the nature of organizations has changed in response to the explosion of new communication technologies as well as global networks within organizations. Communication is more complex, strategic, and vital to the health of the organization than it used to be, and it will become increasingly important in the information-driven economy. This book builds upon the authors’ 2010 book, Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice, which focused on the role of the communicator. This volume examines, analyzes, and illustrates the practice of corporate communication as a critical business asset in a time of global change. It looks at the major communication needs in the lifecycle of organizations: M&A (mergers and acquisitions), structural change, culture change, innovation, new leadership, downsizing, global expansion, competition, ethical decision-making, political action, and employee engagement. These are all significant value-creating, and potentially value-destroying, events in which corporate communication, if used correctly, functions as a critical and strategic business asset.
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Chapter Six: Ethical Issues for Multinational Corporations


← 108 | 109 → CHAPTER SIX

Ethical Issues for Multinational Corporations

In this chapter, we look at various mechanisms business organizations have created or participate in to promote ethical decision-making in spite of the temptation to focus on the bottom line at all cost. These are a focus on creating ethical corporate cultures, participation in global agreements that create ongoing shared commitments to ethical behavior, and mandatory transparency in richly detailed financial reporting.

On April 22, 1903, the building that is home to the New York Stock Exchange at 18 Broad Street opened. Not only is it a US national landmark, but it is also a globally recognized icon of free market capitalism. The pediment is entitled “Integrity Protecting the Works of Man,” the work of the prolific American sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward (see figure 6.1).

Figure 6.1 New York Stock Exchange Façade—Pediment.

← 109 | 110 → In the center is a 22-foot figure of Integrity. Agriculture and Mining are to her left, and Science, Industry, and Invention are on her right. Together these figures represent the sources of American prosperity. The waves on either extreme of the pediment symbolize the ocean-to-ocean influence of the New York Stock Exchange. As a result of the ravages of pollution and flaws in the marble, combined with the 90-ton weight of the statues, the Exchange replaced the marble figures with lead-coated replicas weighing only 10 tons in 1936 (“New York Stock Exchange...

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