Human Resource Management Ethics and Employment Essay
Talisman Incorporation management was forced to cut their operations in Sudan. Any commercial operations and gained benefits cannot become a price for protesting riots and the new splash of civil war at any destination. As a matter of fact Talisman Company was told to sacrifice its subsidiary, which is worth around 12% from the Company total value, in order to save political stability.
Talisman CEO Jim Buckee’s stated later, after the sale was announced that: “Talisman’s shares have continued to be discounted based on perceived political risk in-country and in North America . . . . Shareholders have told me that they were tired of continually having to monitor and analyze events relating to Sudan”. (Kobrin, 2004). Even with several years past Talisman situation is a good reason for numerous questions, which are certainly difficult to answer either from ethical or political side.
The debates around such topics as foreign capital company responsibility for human rights and violation, the responsibility of management for decisions taking, and the necessity of issuing the institution in order to monitor violation, judge transgressions and to impose sanctions are loud even today. Certainly, there is no regulative powerful tool in such countries as Sudan for measuring, prediction and setting standards for corporative behavior through development of norms and monitoring violations cases. There is a good riddle to be solved within Talisman situation in Sudan.
What will happen if Talismans management and board had to make a decision? Would they keep the property in Sudan and continue to try to make a difference through Talismans corporate social responsibility initiatives or the operations are to be cut? Analyzing Talisman situation in Sudan I need to admit that Talisman Incorporation for the years of Sudan operations has become a significant power and authority in the international political system through setting standards, supplying public goods and participating in negotiations.
The summary is that political authority should imply public responsibility. This opinion ruins the traditional believe that only state and states agents are responsible for human rights violations. The reality brings the integrated structure of transnational corporations; their strategy is concerned with increasing integration of the global economy and increasing the number of problems between legal political structure and transnational corporations towards questions of human rights violation.
Successful transnational corporation such as Talisman Company should become a regulative political mechanism itself for protection of individual rights, operating wise and employing all possible mechanisms for imposing obligations on company management and corporative culture regarding human rights violation and corporative policy in this question. These controversies in Sudan raised lot of questions for other Canadian companies, regarding the reasonability of such investments in foreign oil pipe-line projects. Should Canadian companies invest in Burma or Afghanistan?
Who is responsible for risk caused by operations in the territories affected by civil wars and political riots? Political risk always presents in international operations. We can review such historical facts as nationalization of international companies in Russia after Bolshevik revolution. Statistically ten countries have nationalized their oil production before the year, 1970th. For me it is absolutely clear that Talisman Company had no chances to develop their productions under such tough political and activists pressure.
Under the circumstances the way out was selling Talisman interest to the Company with suitable ethical background and negotiate policy due to questions of cultural and individual human rights, GNPOC property became a good candidate at the time. Analyzing the present situation in oil-gas Sudan policy, we can admit that petroleum sector including GNPOC is not transparent even nowadays. Corruption and thrilling political wars are the main reasons for that.
Talisman Incorporation made a constructive decision through selling its share to GNPOC property, Canadian transnational corporation gained the second chance to develop their operations and grow internationally instead of being stuck in politicians’ games and corruption. The main question, which appeared shortly after Talisman story is more ethical than political, it is focused on the delegation of responsibility for human rights violations by any transnational corporation or its subsidiary operating in foreign territory with high risk of civil war or activists riots.
It is obvious that the host country, Sudan in our case, is usually the first violator of human rights. Sudanese government paid very low attention to the accident with Talisman complicating the human rights of its citizens. At the other side, Canadian Government has analyzed Talisman Company Investments in Sudan thus a scope of threatened sanctions were taken to regulate Company activities. (Drohan, 1999, 2003; Frank, 1999). Dr.
Campbell (2006, 258) states that, “…governments are, on the whole, neither able nor willing to effectively regulate MNCs, particularly when operating outside of their own jurisdiction and even in areas where legal regulation would be appropriate were it feasible…” Was Talisman selling the only way out of the situation and had Talisman Company the real Human Rights Obligations? Due to the core human and moral rights derived from human being dignity and equality of individual rights all members of human family (United Nations General Assembly, 1998 (1948)) are identified with moral imperatives of positive law system (Campbell, 2006).
So the moral standpoints due to Talisman Company obligations are positive, however they are opposite to commercial interest. Following the moral principals any transnational corporation should observe basic human rights at the legal location of their operations and respect the dignity of human rights as the core value of their business idea and a “moral compass for business practices” (Donaldson, 1996). Remembering the words of Jim Buckee, who would like Talisman Energy Inc. f Calgary, Alberta, to be known as a true Canadian success Company, that has increased oil and gas production by 30 percent a year since the mid-1990’s by reaching beyond its prairie base to develop wells in the North Sea, Indonesia and Sudan, I need to underline that there were no intentions from Talisman side to cut operations in Sudan.
Full established oil production just has begun when the Company was attacked by church representatives, civil activists and pension funds in the USA and Canada for violation and genocide, and other abuses of human rights. Why us” Jim Buckee asked, he added: “We are a in business, we are not in politics, and we can only affect things within our sphere of influence. Now the holdings in Sudan amount to only 10 percent of Talisman’s total assets and we are happy with project and have no intentions to leave” (Buckee, 2000) The main goal of the conversation between Talisman and legal power forces was concerned with ability of Talisman Company to “”adopt a corporate code that includes human rights in it”. At that point Farther Ryan stressed: “”If you have that, and you’re a force for improving the situation, what are your objectives and strategies?
And can you produce an audited result of what impact you’re having? If you can’t operate without violating human rights, the only option is to leave” (Ryan, 2000). That actually became a prediction for Talisman selling its share in Sudan and leaving and leaving. What type of business faces is adoptable for Sudanese political forces and civil activists, is there a definite one? China and Malaysia companies traditionally paying a low attention to human rights claiming that: “we are the only recognizable Western business face for Sudanese government” (Donaldson, 1996).
At the same time, I cannot see any other way out for Talisman Corporation accept the possibility of business development out from Sudan, because according to the Westphalian Context each particular unit of any transnational corporation is obligated to be supervised by national jurisdiction including its own existing as a legal unit and legal personality, so its legal rights and duties are to be affected by the fact. Talisman corporation in our case is actually to be shifted through the grid of state sovereignty into an assortment of secondary rights and contingent liabilities” (Johns, 1994: 141) cited in (Cutler, 2001).
On the other hand Westphalian orthodoxy suggests that “corporations could not have any direct obligations under international law and thus any positive duty to observe human rights” (Muchlinski, 2001). Such kind of “Treaties are signed by states and international law imposes obligations only on states and not on non-state actors”. (Pegg, 2003; Vazquez, 2005). At this stage of dispute there can be a compromise that it is important for the state to regulate and maintain the controlling tools for activities of non-state actors, because they might lead to human violation riots. Muchlinski, 2001: 35).
So the idea of putting direct obligations on Talisman Corporation for human rights violation is some kind of interventionist, as even a sort of neo-colonial extension of violence in the conflict with the sovereign rights of the local/ host state. The problem is that there is a particular concern regarding the developing countries or those with high risk of national rebelling, these territories typically got the highest number of human right violation accusations imposed to transnational corporations.
Current policy is reflected in the last draft of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations code which called for TNCs to “respect the national sovereignty of the countries in which they operate” and noted that an “entity of a transnational corporation is subject to the laws, regulations and established administrative practices of the country in which it operates” (United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, 1990,35). Talisman Company Sudanese conflict drugged the issuing of new tools for corporate behavior regulation afterwards.
The Proposal for Human Rights Related Regulation is purposed with building corporate policy for Canadian companies operating on risky territories providing the following recommendations to them: “All Canadian securities commissions should initiate discussion among their members about issues relating to corporate conduct in war zones, with special reference to direct or arm’s length trade in weapons and materiel, involvement with individuals and companies recruited abroad to engage in hostilities in a third country, or the arrangement of mining concessions in return for protection of any sort.
Guidelines dealing with such issues should be created or added to existing codes. ” (Campbell, T. 2006). Canadian business is deeply international; its global presence dictates the new rules and policies to all the parties including attention to ethical, social and environmental responsibility regarding local communities’ safety and human rights. The new set of proposals for regulation is issued specially for Canadian global business and aimed to help establishing the friendly community operating business relationship within host company state and non state infrastructures.
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