Rick Harrington, 2000. "Business Practices and Ethics in a Multicultural Environment", International Oil and Gas Ventures: A Business Perspective, George E. Kronman, Don B. Felio, Thomas E. O’Connor, Mindy S. Kronman
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Truly successful companies measure their success not only in financial terms, but also according to ethical standards that go beyond legal compliance and that are based on integrity in their relationships with their stakeholders; however, adhering to such standards can be challenging for multinational corporations because value systems and accepted customs and practices vary radically around the world.
Sometimes it may seem that good ethics and good business are conflicting concepts—but that is not the case. A reputation for ethical behavior can distinguish a company from its competition by making it the partner of choice for clients who want to work with a dependable organization. Ethical conduct can support efforts to attract and retain quality personnel and can have a positive impact on employee morale, job satisfaction, and productivity.
Conversely, bad ethics is bad business because it can damage the company’s reputation, destroy employee morale, and take a toll on the bottom line; furthermore, corporate wrongdoing can lead to strikes or boycotts, costly settlements or fines, and even prison terms for executives or others involved. A company also can be adversely affected by actions of others that tarnish the reputation of the industry as a whole, leading to restrictive legislative or regulatory activity.
For all these reasons, Conoco is an example of a company that puts a high priority on ethics and had established ethics compliance programs long before they were mandated. Conoco’s approach to ethics includes a visible, committed leadership; a corporate compliance committee composed of senior executives; and a comprehensive set of policies, procedures, and programs for preventing unethical behavior, identifying and punishing violators, and rewarding those who uphold the highest ethics standards.
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A “one-stop” business view on how to succeed in international exploration and production. Success in the international upstream arena requires more than the technical ability to find oil and gas. Relationships with governments and people, mutually beneficial contracts, workable strategies, and implementation plans are necessary to build strong, mutually beneficial, and profitable ventures. Key components that drive exploration and production in the global environment are examined. Specific topics include negotiating for success, contracts, the role of technology in international strategies, cross-cultural relationships, alliances, and international upstream financing. Authors from around the world, representing industry, governments, national oil companies, consultants, and academia, contributed their perspectives. Views are provided from both sides of the negotiating table, the corporate boardroom, the resident manager, the explorationist, the businessman, and the theoretician. Geoscientists, engineers, and negotiators, who are, or would like to be, involved in the global energy business will find this collection an important reference.