Ethics Essays on Ethics in Multinational Companies

Ethics in Multinational Companies

Companies are required to grasp the exceptional qualities of different foreign cultures to enhance consumption of their brands globally. The economic growth of several continents has instigated expansion of operations by many global companies. H.J. Heinz Company based in Pittsburg, PA is a good example of a corporation possessing cross-cultural perspectives. It supplies many types of processed food stuffs to more than 200 nations in the world positioning it as one of the most recognized brands (G & A Institute 2011). The company faces several ethical and social responsibility issues because it is a global company.

Cultural Issue

A company with global presence is required to look into a wide range of probable cultural issues. Heinz stated in its 2012 Annual Report that predicting and responding to consumers preferences, minding their well being and health determines its success. Introduction of new products or changes in packaging, trade and consumer reception uncertainties causes inherent risks in the marketplace (G & A Institute 2011). Inability to maintain customers’ loyalty in foreign markets is a cultural problem that could negatively influence the achievements of the Company. Use of organic and raw ingredients is being favored by the changing trends in the world’s diet, for instance European and Asian markets now recognize health benefits by avoiding processed foods. To maintain loyal customers Heinz will have to adapt to this tread since most of its products are highly processed.

Analysis of Ethical Perspectives

Heinz Company has a major influence on environmental sustainability issues since it manufactures processed foods. It is ethically important for Heinz to associate with suppliers of raw materials from agricultural activities possessing strong code of ethics that do not allow pollution of environment. This increases consumers trust who witness damage caused to their communities by agricultural companies that are unethical. To achieve these goals Heinz releases a semiannual sustainability report containing its goals on economic, environmental, and charitable welfare. They have made an accomplishment in reducing pollution especially in urban areas by using fully recyclable ketchup bottles (G & A Institute 2011).

Comparison of perspective Across Cultures

United States has been surpassed by European market on recycling and sustainable urban design issues. This market consists of consumers living in highly congested areas who always demand products produced from companies with strong ethical values. Heinz Company should monitor closely these demands and respond fast to the changing needs since it is possible for a small starting up Company can take over a huge share of its market in a short time. In contrast, rising economies like China has a dissimilar viewpoint on economic development. To achieve fast growth in the society they maximize on use of technology despite the undesirable environmental effects and consumers concentrate more on pricing and value as opposed to social responsibility (McKay, 2012). It is significant that Heinz balances the contrasting needs of these two cultures.

Viable Solution for Stakeholders

A viable solution is one that is beneficial to shareholders, protects suppliers’ relations and ensures social responsibility. Heinz Company acceptable solution is building a supply chain wholly dealing with organic agricultural producers; this enables the company to capitalize on growing trends in the world. It would also sustain a position that show’s it is highly ethical and to achieve this, an initial investment for the project is made to translate to higher gains in the future. The ending results are provision of products of higher quality to the global consumers that also supports the rising sustainable agriculture needs across the world.

H.G Heinz is successful as a global brand and has created a lot of wealth for shareholders. However, due to changes in global economy from processed foods to organic foods the company will be required to reinvent its products to meet the demands. The brand image will also be enhanced all over the world by improving the company’s ethics and social responsibility. All companies operating globally should be prepared to handle fast paced dynamics of cross cultural perspectives.


G & A Institute. (2011). Featured Social Responsibility Report – H.J Heinz Company.

McKay, Z. (2012). The ten Principles for running Businesses in China.