Ethics & International Affairs Volume 3 (1989): Articles: Moral Minimums for Multinationals [Abstract]

Dec 2, 1989

Adam's Smith's invisible hand guiding market mechanisms toward moral conduct seems recklessly idealistic today, in light of forces that have dramatically skewed international free-market operations. Donaldson argues that major changes are necessary in the decision-making process as well as in the conduct of multinational corporations in order to exercise moral obligations and meet culture-specific needs of host countries. Donaldson proposes standards for international institutions by which to protect fairness and freedom, ownership of property, free speech, and minimum education and subsistence levels. "Are such changes in the decision-making process of multinational corporations likely or even possible?" he asks. With some reservations, the author is optimistic that a more ethical approach to market issues is workable.

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