Morals Vs Profits, A Tug Of War For Business In China
Beyond being good corporate citizens, do international firms operating in China have a moral duty to advance democracy and human rights?
Executives roll their eyes at the question: the typical answer is that companies know they must set an example in upholding labor laws or face the wrath of consumers and the threat of stiffer regulation; but no, multinationals have no business meddling in Chinese politics.
Michael Santoro, a professor of business ethics at Rutgers Business School in New Jersey, challenges that conventional view, arguing that foreign business can and should do more in the coming decade to shape social and political change in China.
In a new book, “China 2020,” Santoro says it is in the economic interest of Western firms to abandon their “complacent partnership” with the Chinese government.