Free Essay

Price of Bananas

In: Business and Management

Submitted By grnboy2
Words 655
Pages 3
International business is wrought with ethical issues. The Chiquita Banana documentary, “The Price of Bananas,” made this point ever more apparent. I fully believe, as stated in the documentary that Chiquita Bananas was complicit and was willing to accept death to keep the banana operation running. Anyone involved in this decision should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. My first thoughts about this situation and putting myself in the position of Chiquita CEO, I would utilize the Weber model of organizational ethics and/or the Army-Baylor 7 step method for decision making. The first question or principle in the Weber method is the organizational interests take precedence over individual self-interest. I would say the CEO rationalized his decision and thought he was doing this. And given the situation, I do not necessarily think the CEO was making a decision to pay the AUC in a motivation of self-interest.
The second principle is individual rights take precedence over organizational interests. This can get a little sticky given Chiquita decided to pay para-military troops millions of dollars. If individual rights were of great concern to the CEO, he probably should have made sure his workers and the working conditions were safe, secure, and healthy. Instead, farming bananas in Columbia is one of the most profitable means because of low income earning.
The third principle is community good takes precedence over organizational interests. If the CEO was truly concerned about the community and the people who worked for him in the fields of Columbia, he probably should have considered hiring a third-party or government agency to ensure his workers and people were safe and cared for. Paying the para-military for what he thought was safety was not only naïve, it was unethical, and immoral.
The fourth principle is community good takes precedence over individual self-interest. As with the last principle, the CEO did not care about the community or the people; he cared about his workers farming bananas so he can make a profit.
The fifth principle is individual rights take precedence over individual self-interest. This is probably the most fitting principle to this situation. Human rights and individual rights were being trampled continuously in Columbia. The best answer for the CEO was to conclude doing any business in Columbia until human rights violations stopped, peace returned to the land, and people were willing to work in the fields free from harm or fear. This was not what the CEO did. Instead, he rationalized his decision to pay under the guise of trying to protect the people who worked for Chiquita.
I bet never once did the CEO visit the country, talk to those people, or see how the living conditions. I am confident he never ventured to Columbia to inspect his fields and praise his people for making him and the Chiquita Corporation the wealthiest fruit business in the world. Instead, he turned a blind eye while allowing himself, either willingly or through naiveté, to participate in paying para-military soldiers who slaughtered thousands of people I say the CEO should step down, if he hasn’t already, and he deserves all the prosecution and judgment he receives.
The reality of Chiquita Banana makes me really think about being cautious if I ever deal in International Business. I can say I will not buy any more Chiquita products or bananas. But more than that, the principle and ethics of human rights and individual rights are paramount. I am ashamed that American businessmen are willing to make steep profits off the backs of the weak and meager in other countries. America has become solely focused on the bottom line and profit margin, many have forgotten what right looks like. The atrocities that occurred in Columbia and continue throughout the world deserve our attention, compassion, and resolve to help, not to capitalize on them while making more money.

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