The purpose of this piece is to provide an analytical view on the case study titled, Chrysler and Gao Feng: Corporate Responsibility for Religious and Political Freedom in China. The format that will be utilized is to first provide a brief synopsis and then identify the ethical…
Whilst it is the case that there is a degree of religious freedom in China, all events must be at a state sanctioned religious venue and have the approval of the government. As Gao had no such approval from the government he was arrested and imprisoned for over a month. Upon his release, Gao returned to work however he only had a note from the Chinese police stating that they had held him for three days and had subsequently been released without trial. The quandary lies in the fact that the Chinese partner in the joint venture wanted Gao fired however it is the case that whilst Gao may have violated Chinese religious laws three provisions in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicate that everyone has a right to freedom of thought & religion, wither alone or in community with others. Moreover the charter also indicates that all people have the freedom of opinion & expression and that everyone has the right to peaceful assembly and association. As such moralistically, Gao was not in violation of any of the protocols as enforced by the Chinese government. The case is further complicated insofar as it is the case that if the American firm were to support Gao it is likely that they will loose a very close ally in the Chinese market and the principle of relationship management in China (Guanxi) is crucial to having a commercial success in the nation.
A number of moral complications are presented in this case. Firstly there is the issue of maximizing shareholder value vs. the moral obligation the company has to protecting their employees. If theoretically, Chrysler were to refuse to fire Gao it is likely that they would loose millions of dollars in capital and ultimately may fail in the Chinese market. If Chrysler were to ally with their Chinese partners and fire Gao, it is likely that they would foster a harmonious relationship with the Chinese Communist party as well as their business partners however they would ...
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