Norms and Nations Report: NBD

Norms and Nations Report

Supply chains (SC) strategic significance in the business has increased since the mid-1990s (Hakim et al., 2017). SC results in large amounts of money in an organization, thus, they have significant influence on an organizational competitive advantage. Adopting ethics in SC give an organization a unique position as well as adding value to its products and services (Hakim et al., 2017). Ethical dilemmas, such as in the case of NBD, results to problems within the organization. While the transaction between the Chinese supplier and NBD was cross-cultural and intercultural, it was important that both maintained ethical conduct and respect of each other’s culture.

Ethical Theory and Principles

Numerous authors have discussed the nature of ethical theory. As a result, there are five major ethical theories, namely universalism, utilitarianism, justice, rights, and natural law (Saine et al., 2019).These theories provide a foundation for making decisions. Each of them emphasizes a different point, style, or decision rule. Notably, people make decisions in the same situation, but differently because of the principles that they have namely; least harm, justice, beneficence, and respect for autonomy (Saine et al., 2019).

In the paper Norms and Nations Report, the principle of beneficence guides a person to make a decision based on what is good and right. Least harm comes in when no choice is beneficial; thus, the decision maker chooses the one that is likely to produce the least harm towards others. The principle of respect for autonomy gives individuals a chance to remain autonomous, giving them control over their lives. Finally, the principle of justices requires individuals to be fair to the other individuals (Saine et al., 2019). The Chinese supplier was obligated to ensure that they caused the least harm, ensured NBD respect for autonomy, justice, and beneficence.

The Chinese supplier was not ethical by shipping 300,000 cases of real leather instead of the faux leather material requested by the supplier even though the company was going to sell low for the real leather.Ethics are simply the moral principles governing the conduct of individuals and businesses. Ethics in business is related to principles such as transparency, integrity, and fairness while doing business (Saine et al., 2019). The professional business ethical conduct standards require all types of organizations to have typical business characteristics and commitments such as behaving honorably, maintain confidence, and trust.

Additionally, businesses or individuals should avoid activities that are “clever” such as the case of the Chinese supplier of taking undue advantage of others. In this case, the Chinese supplier should implement utilitarian ethical theory and act for the benefit of majority regardless of their personal losses (Saine et al., 2019).

Countries’ Cultural Differences

In Norms and Nations Report, there is a difference between consumer expectations and business transactions in the West and Asia. In Western Countries such as the USA, they use the slogan “customer is always right” to show the client’s significance in business (Mann& Sahni, 2019).Asia has a diverse culture with each country having one. The Chinese consumers prefer excellent services and similar to other Asians they will demand the highest customer experience. With increased globalization of businesses, some business people tend to think that culture does not affect the business. Nevertheless, there are still wide cultural differences that determine how people behave in business. Culture determines the business pace, protocols, negotiating, decision making, employee management, risk taking propensity, sales, distribution, and marketing. Culture determines partnership and people work with the people they understand, trust, and like (Mann & Sahni, 2019).

Using the Hofstede national culture model, there are the following cultural differences between South Africa, China, and USA (Mann & Sahni, 2019).

Hofstede national culture model

Indulgence vs. Restraint.

Asian countries, including China believe in family and honor. Contrarily, the Western countries including USA believe in self-concept. Similar to the USA, South Africa has an indulgent community, which makes them clash with the Chinese restrained culture when it comes to consumer expectations.

Long-term orientation vs. short-term normative orientation (LTO).

South African and USA cultures are normative and strive to establish absolute truth. Contrarily, China has a pragmatic culture and believes that the truth depends with immediate time, context, and situation. Therefore, they adapt to situations and would mind leaving out details if the situation favors them.

Masculinity vs. Feminist.

The Chinese are a masculine society, which, means they are success driven and oriented. Although China has a high level of masculinity, South Africa and USA are also masculine societies.

Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI).

China is ranked amongst the countries with low uncertainty avoidance, that is, why the Chinese supplier opts to sell the real leather at a cheaper price than wait for uncertain future to sell it. On the other hand, South Africa and USA have a higher dimension of avoiding risks than China, which explains why NBD is devastated by getting the wrong materials.

Power Distance.

People in South Africa accept the hierarchical order and their place within the firm and society. South Africa power distance ranks higher than the USA. Nevertheless, China ranks highest; the inequalities in the subordinate-superior relationships and power abuse are acceptable.

Individualism vs. Collectivism.

China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group while South Africa and USA are highly individualistic countries with USA leading. The difference can explain why Chinese supplier sent the products for the good of all the involved parties.


Hakim, R. A., Taib, C. A. B., Hossain, M. T. B., & Naim, M. J. (2017). Social responsibility in global supply chain: Research trend from 1999 to 2014. Int. J Sup. Chain. Mgt Vol6(4), 146.

Mann, B. J. S., & Sahni, S. K. (2019). Identifying the relationship between cultural dimensions and consumer decision making styles. Business & Social Sciences Journal4(1), 31-69.

Saine, R., Kull, A. J., Besharat, A., & Varki, S. (2019). I see me: The role of observer imagery in reducing consumer transgressions. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-12.