Ethics and moral codes of conduct differ in various parts of the world. Does that imply that executives who seek to do business globally should also have flexible ethical norms and traits that change from country to country? Absolutely not, if you ask Jon M. Huntsman, founder and chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a $13 billion maker of chemicals and plastics. “Of course, situations will be different in Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America, but individuals who are responsible for business must maintain the same standards of ethics and the same criteria of honesty and integrity,” he says. “That is very difficult because sometimes you are forced to choose whether you will invest in a country or not.” Huntsman discussed these issues and more with Knowledge at Wharton during the 2007 Wharton Economic Summit in Philadelphia last month.
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