They serve in key advisor assignments to facilitate unity of command and effort, directly influencing operations in the region.
She immediately took a job in the correspondent bank section of the Security Bank of the American Continent. Sara was assigned to work on issues pertaining to relationships with correspondent banks in Latin America.
She rose rapidly in the section and received three good promotions in 3 years. She consistently got high ratings from her superiors, and she received particularly high marks for her professional demeanor.
In her initial position with the bank, Sara was required to travel to Mexico on several occasions. She was always accompanied by a male colleague, even though she generally handled similar business by herself on trips within the United States.
The final decisions on the work that she did were handled by male representatives of the bank stationed in Mexico. The office had about 20 bank employees and was headed by William Vitam. The Mexico City office was seen as a preferred assignment by young executives at the bank.
After a month, Sara began to encounter problems. She found it difficult to be effective in dealing with Mexican bankers—the clients. They appeared reluctant to accept her authority, and they would often bypass her in important matters.
Sara finally complained to Vitam that he was undermining her authority and effectiveness; she asked him in as positive a manner as possible to help her. Let me be frank with you. As long as the clients see you as my assistant and deferring to me, they can do business with you.
I know you can handle it. But we just have to tread carefully. As time went on, Sara found that the patronizing actions in front of clients bothered her more and more.
The Mexico City office had five younger women who worked as receptionists and secretaries. They were all situated at work stations at the entrance of the office. They were required to wear standard uniforms that were colorful and slightly sexy.
Sara protested the requirement that uniforms be worn because 1 they were inconsistent to the image of the banking business and 2 they were demeaning to the women who had to wear them. Vitam just curtly replied that he had received a lot of favorable comments about the uniforms from clients of the bank.
Several months later, Sara had what she thought would be a good opportunity to deal with the problem. Tom Fried, an executive vice president who had been a mentor for her since she arrived at the bank, was coming to Mexico City; she arranged a private conference with him.
She described her problems and explained that she was not able to be effective in this environment and that she worried that it would have a negative effect on her chance of promotion within the bank.
Fried was very careful in his response. Sara found herself becoming more aggressive and defensive in her meetings with Vitam and her clients. Several clients asked that other bank personnel handle their transactions.
What obligations does an international company have to ensure that its employees are not harmed, for instance, by having their chances for advancement limited by the social customs of a host country?
What international moral code, if any, is being violated by Security Bank of the American Continent? Has the bank made the correct decision by opting to follow the norms of the host country? What steps can be taken on the part of the internationals and their employees to avoid or resolve situations in which employees are offended or harmed by host country practices?
In this situation, does morality require respect for Mexican practices, or does it require respect for Sara Strong? Be sure to completely answer the questions Course Textbook Beauchamp, T.
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