Managing Ethically

Some companies require that their employees work very long hours and travel extensively. Employees with young children, employees taking care of elderly relatives, and employees who have interests outside the workplace sometimes find that their careers are jeopardized if they try to work more reasonable hours or limit their work-related travel. Some of these employees feel that it is unethical for their manager to expect so much of them in the workplace and not understand their needs as parents and caregivers.

  1. Either individually or in a group, think about the ethical implications of requiring long hours and extensive amounts of travel for some jobs.
  2. What obligations do you think managers and companies have to enable employees to have a balanced life and meet nonwork needs and demands?

Home Depot misjudged the market in China. The world’s largest home improvement chain entered the Chinese market in 2006 and decided to leave it six years later. The company was unable to sell its do-it-yourself brand to Chinese consumers. Cheap labor in China means many people can hire someone else to do home improvement work for them. In addition, apartment–based living in China meant there was not much demand for products such 
as lumber.64

  1. What could Home Depot have done to avoid its mistake in China?
  2. In what cultures might Home Depot find better success?