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Crimes That Harm Business VS Crimes Committed by Business

Published August 19, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Images of crime in the US reveal an increase of illegal activity from business executives. According to Simpson (2002) business crime is not a new social problem. illicit drugs and violence, for example, have been an issue of concern for business leaders and policymakers for a while now. Historically, criminals involved with drugs and violence were believed to have been contained within certain populations of criminal ethnic groups and immigrants. In other words, society was under the impression that crime was only confined to the constitutionally inferior and morally lax (Simpson, 2002).  However, with the expansion of the newly emerging capitalist society and its large institutions, the environment was becoming fertile for corporate criminals.

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Corporate crime is considered a form of white collar crime that is committed by persons of respectability and high social status. Some people refer to it as a crime of the rich and affluent. Cavender and Cullen (2006) postulate that it can include such infractions as (a) crimes by politicians; (b) crimes by professionals like accountants, physicians, and attorneys; (c) cheating on taxes; (d) theft or embezzlement; and (e) crimes committed by corporate organizations themselves (Cavender & Cullen, 2006). The topic of this discussion asks us to consider which presents the greatest threat to civil society: a corporation that commits crimes or a person who commits crimes that harm businesses. On the one hand, a corporation that commits a crime can create a wide range of contamination that spans across the globe. Take for example, a multinational corporation (MNC) that markets a defective product, or worse a deadly one (like the tobacco companies that hid the harmful effects of their products). In other words, when a corporation commits a crime, millions of people may be at risk on a global level. A crime that is committed by an individual, however, who causes harm to a business, such as when a physician defrauds the government by billing for false medical payments, will have different consequences that influences a smaller region. For example, it could result with the physician’s termination and loss of that practitioner’s medical license or worst case scenario the dissolution of the medical facility and the employees. So in this instance, just the physician or facility could be affected because it does not have the same influence on a global level. However, in the long run, it may affect the policies that physicians follow if reforms are introduced to prevent physicians from further engaging in this form of criminal conduct.

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Individuals that engage in criminal activity, even though they believe they outsmarted the system and got away with a criminal act, are always focused on not getting caught. It takes a considerable amount of energy to  maintain an illusion, and as soon as they become relaxed, they get sloppy and eventually the truth surfaces. Seaquist (2012) defines criminal law as the branch of law that is focused on punishing illegal acts that are deemed harmful to others and society at large (Seaquist, 2012). In some situations, it can be difficult to discern which form of crime presents more of a civil threat because there are many facets to consider. For example, as I pointed out, a corporation, especially an MNC, has a great influence on a global scale. Take a fast food franchise for instance, many of these corporations promote unhealthy food ingredients that have been scientifically proven to contribute to life threatening diseases like obesity, diabetes, arteriosclerosis and other debilitating illnesses that affect millions worldwide. These companies sell inferior products for huge profit and use clever marketing strategies to make it appear ethical. However, with advances in communication technology an individual can now also make an impact on global scale that can bring harm to a business or institution. Take for example political figures with low moral values like those that have been recently exposed in the headlines. Public figures like them pose a threat to society and in fact, can create damage on many levels including: (a) shame and humiliation that extends beyond just their families, (b) ridicule to the government institution and the office they represent, (c) lowering the bar for standards in ethics and moral values, and (d) making a mockery of the US political system. In conclusion, current events and research reveal that with the expansion of the global market both a corporation and an individual can create harm and cause considerable damage on a worldwide scale because of the media and advances in technology and communication. It’s a whole new world that is taking shape. The moral is, those who embrace an ethical culture are the ones who will help lead society to a better future.

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References:

Cavender, G., & Cullen, F. (2006). Corporate crime under attack (2nd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Simpson, S. (2002). Corporate crime, law, and social control. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

The Global Marketplace

Published April 1, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Shenkar and Luo (2008) purport that globalization has become one of the most popular catch phrases in the modern age. They define globalization as the acceleration and extension of interdependence of economic and business activities across national boundaries. Simply put, innovation on one side of the world has consequences on the other. To some entrepreneurs, globalization means more choices, decreased prices, and an increase in blurred national identity for products and services (Shenkar & Luo, 2008). For instance, sending a package from Chicago to Miami via DHL courier contributes to the revenue of the German Postal Service. Many business owners believe it is important to enter the global marketplace to expand their customer base and increase their revenue, which has been easier to do with the advent of the internet. Because the economy is interconnected worldwide, it is essential that entrepreneurs learn to strategize on a global level and consider incorporating higher levels of managerial skills that includes knowledge of international cultures for conducting commerce ethically and diplomatically in spite of economic and cultural differences.

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Equally important is to understand the advantages and disadvantages of expanding their entrepreneurial ventures to include the global marketplace. Worldwide brand recognition is one of the advantages of going global. For example, because beverages like Coca-Cola are sold internationally, an individual that boards a plane in Los Angeles can purchase a can of Coke at the airport in the US and a later have dinner sipping from the classic bottle version of Coca-Cola in a restaurant that evening in Acapulco. Also, because of the global marketplace, international travelers can find McDonalds’ golden arches worldwide. Globalization also occurs in the form of advertisement for outsourcing software maintenance to countries like India; or the shift of a call center to countries like Canada.  The disadvantage of these innovations is that they eliminate jobs that affect the US economy. These are only a few samples of the advantages and disadvantages that impact entrepreneurial ventures when expanding into the global market.

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Equally important is that entrepreneurs have a good plan when considering entering the global economy to expand their business operations. This includes better preparation for expatriate assignments abroad and training to build confidence interacting with foreign suppliers, partners and competitors or in working for foreign employers in the US, like Mercedes-Benz, Toyota or Honda (Peng, 2011). These tactics can make the experience rewarding and more enjoyable. Globalization is here to stay. One merely has to take a look at the manufacturer labels on most consumer toy products or at the tags of many clothing items to find evidence of the many effects a global marketplace has on the fabric of modern commerce.

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References:

Peng, M. (2011). Global business (2nd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Shenkar, O., & Luo, Y. (2008). International business. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.