- Question 1:
Should an MNC Reduce Its Ethical Standards to Compete Internationally?
Anheuser-Busch, (which is now part of AB InBev due to a merger), the producer of TEXTILE, has engaged in a joint venture with Kirin, the largest TEXTILE in Japan. The joint venture enables Anheuser-Busch to have its textile distributed through Kirin’s distribution channels in Japan. In addition, it could utilize Kirin’s facilities to produce textile products that would be sold locally. In return, Anheuser-Busch provided information about the American textile market to Kirin.
Explain how the joint venture enabled Anheuser-Busch to achieve its objective of maximizing shareholder wealth.
Explain how the joint venture limited the risk of the international business.
Many international joint ventures are intended to circumvent barriers that normally prevent foreign competition. What barrier in Japan did Anheuser-Busch circumvent as a result of the joint venture? What barrier in the United States did Kirin circumvent as a result of the joint venture?
Explain why the Greece credit crisis can cause contagion effects throughout Europe.
Why do interest rates vary among countries? Why are interest rates normally similar for those European countries that use the euro as their currency? Offer a reason why the government interest rate of one country could be slightly higher than the government interest rate of another country, even though the euro is the currency used in both countries.
Chapman Co. is a privately owned MNC in the U.S. that plans to engage in an initial public offering (IPO) of stock, so that it can finance its international expansion. At the present time, world stock market conditions are very weak but are expected to improve. The U.S. market tends to be weak in periods when the other stock markets around the world are weak. A financial manager of Chapman Co. recommends that it wait until the world stock markets recover before it issues stock. Another manager believes that Chapman Co. could issue its stock now even if the price would be low, since its stock price should rise later once world stock markets recover. Who is correct? Explain.
Cornell Co. purchases computer chips denominated in euros on a monthly basis from a Dutch supplier. To hedge its exchange rate risk, this U.S. firm negotiates a three-month forward contract three months before the next order will arrive. In other words, Cornell is always covered for the next three monthly shipments. Because Cornell consistently hedges in this manner, it is not concerned with exchange rate movements. Is Cornell insulated from exchange rate movements? Explain.
Explain how exchange rate fluctuations affect the return from a foreign market measured in dollar terms. Discuss the empirical evidence on the effect of exchange rate uncertainty on the risk of foreign investment.
What is meant by the statement that ownership is separated from managerial control in the corporation? Why does this separation exist?
What is an agency relationship? What is managerial opportunism? What assumptions do owners of corporations make about managers as agents?
Read the following cases and answer the questions listed below:
When hospital staff failed to speak out about poor care, the challenge began to fall on relatives. Julie Bailey began to take on Stafford General Hospital. Believing that it would never happen to her, it happened at Stafford where she took her mom. Julie Bailey’s mother, Bella, had been taken to Stafford General Hospital in September 2007. But, from her first impressions, she believed something was wrong. She recognized that the patients in her mom’s ward couldn’t speak for themselves and the relatives were visiting them oblivious to what was going on. For 8 weeks, Bella’s family members maintained a 24-hour watch at her bedside keeping a record of what they saw. Julie Bailey reads the records made and indicated the fear they had for being branded troublemakers. Bella Bailey died in the hospital in November 2007. Julie Bailey created a determined campaign, in her café, to make people aware of what she had seen but struggled make her voice heard. In an interview, Julie listed all the people she tried to speak to with the intent to try and tell as many people as possible.
At that time she was unaware that the primary investigator of the Health Care Commission was planning to investigate high death rates at the hospital between 2005 and 2008. The report, when made public, showed managers putting targets ahead of patient care. With the mortality rates being further investigated, the report agreed there were serious concerns about patient care. It appeared that some doctors were even, privately, aware of the problems. The Commission report also said that of the majority of doctors interviewed said they would not have been happy for a relative to have been treated there. Julie Bailey expressed her concern that it wasn’t good enough for their relatives but it was good enough for ours. She says if they had known or the doctors had spoken out none of their relatives would have been put there. A Staffordshire MP, Tony Wright—Labour, Cannock Chase, could not believe that doctors would be happy delivering that level of care and that nurses must have been unhappy working in that situation. He had helped introduce legislation to encourage employees to speak up—The Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998 was intended to give whistleblowers legal protection from dismissal or victimization. Mr. Wright indicates that the whole point of these provisions was so that individuals could raise their concerns properly without threatening their job, without damaging their career, and without having to go to the media. However, in Staffordshire, there was a whole culture that discouraged complaints. The investigation indicated that nurses felt poorly supported as a profession and consultants appeared to have given up expressing their views since managers were said to dislike critical comments and ignored them. Mr. Wright says that the governments should revisit what it said to health organizations in the past—the good things such as the need to get whistleblower protection in place. The new leadership at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has now made it known that quality of care is now its primary concern. To this end, it is investing 12 million pounds in frontline clinical staff, improved training and facilities, and has published a new “no blame whistleblowing policy” aimed to bring poor practice out in the open.
What corporate governance mechanisms failed at Stafford General Hospital?
Were there possibilities of agency problems within Stafford? Why or why not? Could managerial opportunism be an issue?
Can the Trust Foundation for Stafford be effective as a market for corporate control?
What role do you think the corporate governance structure of the United Kingdom played in the problems at Stafford?
How do you think the situation at Stafford will impact global corporate governance?