Globalization of Levi Strauss & Co.
May 24, 2010
Globalization is a necessary evil that allows business to make huge profits and third-world countries to begin creating a free market economy. While it seems that globalization may be a solution to the problem of poverty and starvation for some people, it may also contribute to issues such as child labor, discrimination, exploitation and health and safety issues for people working in developing countries. Since U.S. laws do not apply to American companies operating in foreign countries, these companies have an ethical responsibility to create codes of conduct to govern the way they treat people and conduct business overseas. Levi Strauss & Co. has been a leader
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In 1991, Levi Strauss & Co. was the first multi-national company to develop a code of ethics for its international business partners and suppliers. The Levi Strauss & Co. Global Sourcing Guidelines were designed to ensure that all LS&Co. facilities worldwide, as well as suppliers and business partners, conducted business in ethically and socially responsible ways (Solomon, 1996). Requiring their business partners and suppliers to follow the company code of conduct protected the employees in developing countries who could easily be exploited, and it protected the company’s reputation, which would also contribute to their success. This code of conduct was developed in order to avoid or eliminate some of the most common ethical dilemmas associated with globalization. In order to maintain contracts with LS&Co., suppliers agreed to provide workers with fair wages, a safe and healthy working environment and abide by the laws and regulations that govern the country and industry. Suppliers would also prohibit the use of child or forced labor, discrimination and forms of inhumane disciplinary practices (Solomon, 1996). While globalization helps developing countries to build free market economies, it also presents many ethical dilemmas, as huge companies profit from the desperate need for work in poor countries (Dickey, 2002). Since