Ethical issues of outsourcing or offshoring

Gjergji Gega Introduction The controversy surrounding outsourcing has intensified in recent years. While proponents view it as improving business performance by shipping support functions overseas and thereby allowing direct employees to focus on complex and core business functions, detractors view it as robbing domestic workers of good jobs by relocating them overseas to lower paid and possibly less qualified foreign workers. In the business world where cost and efficiency matter, corporations have begun to take advantage of the benefits realized by tapping into the foreign workforce Fisher, Wasserman, Wolf, Wears, Corporations have begun to realize the rewards of cost-savings, convenience, and efficiency through outsourcing work to foreign countries, such as India, the highly educated English-speaking country Fisher et al.

Ethical issues of outsourcing or offshoring

When it comes to offshore labour, there are two key ethical concepts that tend to concern both Australian employers and the public generally: Generally speaking, Australian employers show the same behaviour offshore as they would show in Australia.

They run offshore teams because it makes business sense to do so, not because they have a diabolical urge to oppress the poor. They therefore spend money on wages and work environments that are conducive to getting a high quality result, and more often than not this means paying above market rates for wages, and utilising A-grade office environments.

Without exception, all the many hundreds of offshore offices of Australian companies that I have personally inspected have been A-grade working environments by Australian standards.

Not crowded, well air conditioned, comfortable chairs, standard work hours, and regular breaks and holidays which comply with the local employment laws. This is necessary to attract and keep good staff offshore, just like Australia.

These roles are not just answering phones in call centres; they are all sorts of skilled positions, like accountants, paralegals, construction estimators, web designers and skilled administrators. If they pay too low, skilled employees will leave and get another job.

The ethics of low wages is another major concern for many. It is actually the cost of living which determines whether someone is well-paid at a certain wage, not the wage itself. One dollar varies in buying power tremendously between different countries.

I have recorded the price of this product in many locations around the Philippines and in Australia. A Filipino pays around 20 cents. That is just one example, not everything is one tenth the price, but rent is often about that same ratio.

However, a little research will reveal that a typical dual income family on this wage can afford high quality accommodation, sends their children to private schools, and has a live-in cleaner and cook. In many respects their lifestyle is similar to ours, and in some ways, better. Every time I run an Easy Offshore workshop, the Australian business owners in the room lament that they wish they could afford a weekly cleaner, let alone a full-time housekeeper or a nanny.

This is where the ethical concern of slave wages gets entirely flipped around to show that the opposite is usually true. Where wealth was formerly concentrated in the hands of a tiny social and political elite, the jobs that Australian businesses create overseas are having a massive positive effect on social welfare, health, education and every aspect of society.

The respective governments of these countries are actively encouraging this sector as a key part of growing their countries out of general poverty.

So should business managers feel guilty about hiring offshore because they might be exploiting their foreign workers? Or should they feel satisfied that in a very real way they are helping a developing nation to fix its poverty?

Ethical issues of outsourcing or offshoring

Should they feel guilty that they are not hiring an Australian employee? Or should they feel good when their staff member expresses genuine gratitude for the job and enjoyable work that they have? Is one human life as good as another human life, or should Australians value Australian lives over any other?

If there was another good job waiting for the Australian employee, would it matter as much? Ethics are by their nature a very subjective issue based upon our experiences. If we do not widen our experiences to understand the new global business world, then we run the risk of making dangerous assumptions about global changes which may radically impact our businesses.

Every single director and CEO who goes and sees these offshoring hubs for themselves is transformed and comes away with the realisation that every business is now global, and that global resourcing need not compromise ethics. Scott Linden Jones built several businesses in the IT industry since He is the founding adviser at Easy Offshore www.Oct 16,  · Presentation of an ethical dilemma for IS Computer Ethics subject for Master in Information Systems (UP Open University).

Credits at the the . In Defense of Responsible Offshoring and Outsourcing. everyone would agree that we have serious economic policy issues at home about creating jobs, stimulating growth, increasing exports.

Ethical Questions Regarding Outsourcing. Outsourcing non-core activities helps companies save considerably on costs and improve profitability. Outsourcing work is . Mar 30,  · The recent downturn in the United States economy has driven numerous American corporations to begin outsourcing and off shoring work to countries such as India, China, New Zealand, South Korea, and other countries where the cost of labor is significantly lower (Ahmed, ).

The most prominent form of outsourcing American jobs has been within the manufacturing sector of the economy. As more companies go overseas to places like China, India, and other Asian countries, the loss of jobs is well visible, and the ethical issues involved are clearly evident.

Mar 30,  · Moral & Ethical Issues in the Workplace Saturday, March 30, Issues of Outsourcing Ethical Issues of Outsourcing. Written By: Gjergji Gega. Introduction. The controversy surrounding outsourcing has intensified in recent years.

While proponents view it as improving business performance by shipping support functions overseas and.

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