Ethical Dilemma in Human Resource Management

Morgan, notes that not all organizational management systems are uniform and that they depend on prevailing environments at the work place. Therefore, model for organization learning should inculcate a diverse business component that is largely dependent on local and international cultural variations. Cultural variations make organization learning susceptible and any strategic approach will determine either if a firm survives the cultural diversity or if it gets out of negative effects of cultural variations. China is a diverse country that headquarters most international firms and multinational corporations, (MNCs) and as such, presents different management practices. This research paper develops the idea that organization learning will be enhanced by focusing on individual dedication to the varying social and corporate contexts. In china, Walt Disney intends to pay different wages to its employees. This is because it is cheap to hire Chinese workers while on the other hand, American citizens working for the firm in China experience high cost of living their Chinese counterparts. In order to make life bearable for the Americans, Walt Disney has to pay them slightly higher salary wages.

Organization learning is a sustainable strategy in human resource management that ensures that a firm remains competitive in the market,. Conventional discussions on organizational learning have always centered their learning process on contemporary discussions in two different ways. The first learning process is based on an organizational framework that borrows ideals from cognition development conjecture, also referred to as meaning-based social construction. The other learning process inculcates development, dissemination, and deployment of knowledge-based methods as main assets of developing learning process in an organization. Process-based organization learning involves conventional methods that organize joint learning sessions despite having different views and dedication. There is need of exploiting organization learning through “social cohesion and mutual identity visible within communities of practice, and adopt theories recognizing that learning can be generated from tension and negotiation, competition and conflict,” (Wu, p. 2). 

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Varying commitment levels from the Chinese originates from individual perspective rather than the conventional way of task imposition. Thus, the Chinese believe that the more one works the more one earns. This belief makes Chinese quite different from people from Western countries and the Japanese who opt for conventional methods of organization learning, (Wu, 2011). Self-motivation would work in liaison with a decentralized/horizontal management structure. Horizontal management structure gives power to junior staffs to make individual decision in task accomplishment. It is therefore essential for MNCs to understand this learning culture and cultural perspectives of the Chinese if a firm wants to institute effective organization learning in China.

Disney Walt in China; Ethical Dilemma

There is ethical dilemma that faces Disney Walt in China due to the aforementioned differences between Chinese and American way of doing business. This is because, “Chinese are showcasing a different view of management practices and system of business arrangement,” (Wu, 2009, p.4). Ethics is an important facet for running a successful business. It refers to doing what is right at the workplace that would bring harmony among employees, create positive image to clients and other stakeholders in general. According to McNamara, (2010), “Perhaps most important, attention to ethics in the workplaces helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass.”

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The significance of paying U.S. employees more than their Chinese counter parts is because it is expensive for a foreigner to live and work in China. Accommodation rates are high for them besides the difficulty of finding restaurant that sell their food. However, there are positive things resulting from relocating U.S. employee to China. To begin with, the firm will enjoy low overhead cost as compared to that of training new Chinese employees to work in the parks. In addition, cultural diversity is of essence for the running of businesses. If Walt Disney employs both U.S. employees and Chinese employees to work in the same park, there would be mutual understanding and development of cultural diversity between these two groups.

Though bringing U.S. employees to China means more running costs, this move is justified as the costs will be subsidized by employment of cheap Chinese labor that is readily available. “Business ethics in the workplace is about prioritizing moral values for the workplace and ensuring behaviors are aligned with those values—it's values management,” ( McNamara, 2010). Therefore, as long as the firm maintains harmony in the workplace, and that its operations are smooth, wage difference can never be an issue for Walt Disney World.

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Socio-Cultural Problems

Penetrating into overseas market is an uphill task for international business organizations. This is because of the diversity of our social-cultural differences, which greatly define tastes and preferences. Walt Disney is one of such international organization that has faced the hurdles of international marketing for instance, the penetration of in Chinese market. Most firms assume the penetration in an overseas market is an uphill task; however, at times that is not always the case. Though people speak different language and have different cultural orientation, this does not mean they will not enjoy goods and services like Disney Walt's Cinderella or Mickey.

Cross-cultural differences not only have impacts on international trade but also to the domestic market. According to Tian, (2009), “The changed world makes marketing a cross-cultural process that requires human resource to be weary of cultural differences at national, and international levels to be winners of ethical dilemma in 21st century market.” Disney Walt must realize that venturing into the Chinese market means that they are moving from a modernized culture to tradition-based culture of the Asian community. Therefore studying the market differences in cultural desires of these two groups would positively influence their organizational learning perspectives in China.

Organization learning should be tied to structural organization framework and in order to succeed as a business. The cases of decentralized organization structure require a well-laid communication channel to convey message from top to bottom. Horizontal communication system requires flat communication system to necessitate passage of information directly from CEOs to junior staffs and vice versa. To this effect, using online social networking websites and general ICT products can greatly offset positive results in service provision. The online experience allows for teleconferencing that makes formal employee training much easier. 

Social-cultural differences exists in China and this makes it hard for international corporations that do not understand organization learning of the Chinese, have a bad business experience. China is a source of cheap labor for MNCs but it is important to understand the work culture of the Chinese. Given that they are driven by personal achievement and proper remuneration, giving bonuses and other entitlements to the workforce can significantly improve their output.   


There is an ethical dilemma facing Walt Disney in its operation in China that according to this discussion is justifiable. The Americans face high living standards than their Chinese colleagues. On the other hand, the Chinese labor is cheap and readily available. Firms in the Chinese market need to understand the workforce diversities by applying organizational learning models that apply in the Chinese environment. An appropriate model depends on diverse issues that fall under social, cultural, and economic perspectives. A comprehensive research on market and learning cultures of a population is vital before rolling out business operations in an overseas market. Conventional methods of organization learning can be modernized using ICT platform to conform to modern time learning processes. There is need of making a workforce understand the reasons why a firm adopts different wage policies for its employees; hence, the most relevant model in addressing wage disparities would be process-based organization learning.     

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