International Management the European Union Is "A Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

International Management

The European Union is "a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries" (EU, 2012). The European Union describes its objectives are relating to the idea that "countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict" (Ibid). There are a number of stated objectives. The first is "to promote human rights both internally and around the world," including human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights" (Ibid). Economically, the EU has the objective of "enabling most goods, services, money and people to move freely" and to "develop this resource to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit" (Ibid). The EU also seeks to make its own governance more transparent and democratic.

For its flaws and missteps, the EU has largely been successful. Economically, the nations of Europe face far fewer trade barriers than they did prior to the Union. There is greater freedom of movement for people, goods and capital within the Union, especially when EU offshoots like the Schengen Zone and the Eurozone are taken into consideration. In addition, there have been no armed conflicts between members of the EU since its inception.

Brenton, DiMauro & Lucke (1999) found evidence to support the idea that the EU has facilitated in increase in foreign direct investment in the Union. The EU creates a large common market, encouraging firms that would otherwise be discouraged from entering the much smaller individual markets in Europe. The removal of physical and financial trade barrier improves the profit potential of European operations. Lastly, common regulatory frameworks and the common currency have also facilitated ease of operating in Europe, reducing both the learning curve and the risks associated with European market entry.

2. According to Luthans and Doh (2008), the four foundations of law are Islamic law, socialist law, common law and civil law. Islamic law is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed. Socialist law is rooted in Marxist or totalitarian socialist systems and emphasizes the supremacy of the state. Common law derives from the English tradition and is based on codes of rules. Civil law derives from the Roman tradition and is based more on principles rather than rules.

While there are instances of legal systems co-existing (Louisiana and Quebec operating civil law within common law countries, for example), there is also the potential for significant conflicts. While common law's rules are based on roughly the same Western principles as civil law, socialist and Islamic law are fundamentally different. These laws are based on ideology rather than principle and this alone means that the conflicts could be significant when they occur. For example, there is going to be some conflict in international law where nations using these fundamentally different systems come together. Some things illegal under one system could be perfectly legal under another, representing a major impediment to doing business. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is cited by the text authors as an example, because corruption of the form deemed illegal in the U.S. is not illegal in many countries. Negotiating the practical and philosophical differences between legal systems in different countries remains a challenge for international businesses.

3. Ethics are defined as "the study of morality and standards of conduct" (Luthans & Doh, 2008). Morals are codes of conduct, usually within a society, while ethics are frameworks for understanding morals (Gert, 2011). This explanation offers no particular clarity, as both are codes of conduct -- the study of codes and understanding the codes are two ways of saying the same thing.

However, the subject of ethics typically arises in international business, when the manager faces a conflict between his or her own ethical standards and those of the nation in which the business is being conducted. What the manager needs to have is a defined code that is to be used. Going back to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, this is an attempt by the U.S. government to enforce a standard of behavior on American firms, regardless of where their activity is. The morals of foreign countries can be quite different from those…

Sources Used in Document:

Reference List

Brenton, P., DiMauro, F. & Lucke, M., 1999. Economic integration and FDI: An empirical analysis of foreign investment in the EU and in Central and Eastern Europe. Empirica. 26 (2) 95-121.

EU., 2012. Basic information on the European Union. European Union. Available online at Accessed May 5, 2012.

Gert, B. (2011). The definition of morality. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available online at / Accessed May 5, 2012.

Luthans, F. & Doh, J., 2008. International management: Culture, strategy and behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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