Globalization is here to stay. Once technological, educational and learning skills spread around the globe, techniques of production and supply chain management become international in scope.
I introduce the question of how one deals with the broader results of globalization, not only the socalled “ Bottom Line” , Profit and Loss(Business-Economics) statements , but also on questions involving Good and Bad(Ethics) and Pro and Con(Politics),by asking the student the following question:
”What does the Cpk (process capability) index number mean for the average worker and manager toiling in different countries and cultures in different economic, political and social environments and contexts? “
The student has already mastered the technical, mathematical, and statistical analysis involved in formulating and calculating a Cpk process capability index.
I propose to the students that they consider a powerful Wal Mart executive, who has only a single minded goal of to promoting a corporate policy of always obtaining lower prices on all Wal Mart goods .Of course, such a goal entails constantly lowered costs. This utilitarian ethics concept, focusing exclusively on Profit and Loss only, clashes with any type of Virtue Ethics approach. I usually refer to Buddhist and Confucian ethical systems.
Specifically, should a broader set of goals that involve “balance”(Buddha) or “ Temperance(Virtue)” and that promote a stable and democratic political system be brought to bear by upper management in their decision making framework regarding cost cutting measures, or should there be only a single policy focus aimed at constantly obtaining a higher and higher Cpk index from the supply chain ? Is the assumption that all consumers have insatiable desires(wants as opposed to needs) for goods and services (Jeremy Bentham) that must be satisfied an assumption that a corporation should focus on exclusively? How about Herbert Simon’s ‘satisficing” approach, where the goal is a satisfactory outcome, as opposed to a maximum outcome of some type? Does the long run success of globalization depend exclusively on cost minimization ,or does it depend on the world’s workers and managers(the supply chain ) believing that they also will benefit from globalization in the near (not distant) future ?
You (the student) will discuss globalization base on the article posted on BB that deals with Wal Mart plus other sources you may decide to use.You can also discuss related topics like NAFTA(1994 agreement with Mexico),Free trade versus Fair trade issues,the Costco versus Wal Mart approach or trade problems with China (for instance ,undervaluing their currency and requiring firms to turn over their technology in order to gain access to the China market).
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