Is Outsourcing Unethical?

outsourcing-itWith today’s economy, the confidence and trust in our business and government leaders have Americans putting their money under their mattresses. The “microwave-generation” mentality has Washington scrambling, putting pressure on companies to find ways to increase their profitability to appease shareholders, as power-hungry politicians manipulate to keep their jobs in the next term.

The outsourcing of cheap labor to foreign countries is one example of the strategies employed by U. S. companies seeking to survive or to increase profits. In particular these days in the outsourcing of customer service departments and manufacturing. Not that outsourcing is solely a product of an unhealthy economy.Even during times when the economy is booming, cheap labor has been used, supposedly out of greed or the need to fill jobs that Americans are unwilling perform.

Do you believe it is ethical for U. S. companies to outsource cheap labor to foreign countries, while unemployment is at 9.4% nationally and rising? In addition, do you believe such practices will shoe up customer confidence? Is this an issue of nationalism versus globalism? What are the implications of “free trade” on this issue?

[Unemployment percentage resources from The Bureau of Labor Statistics]

This post was prepared by James Scott.

57 thoughts on “Is Outsourcing Unethical?

  1. Pingback: Alex Gordon

  2. I agree with Robin about the perception of a company. Even though it might be a good short-term economical decision to outsource, it could hurt the perception of the company. It can hurt employee moral and customer loyalty, which would decrease revenue. So, a good idea on paper is a bad idea in reality. In a downturn in the economy, the best option to keep business and a good perception of the company is to maintain local employees. The company needs to offer support to the local community and the community will support the company throughout its future endeavors.

  3. In my opinion, outsourcing (in most cases) is a show of bad ethics and sometimes bad business. Outsourcing, like other business strategies, tend to focus on short-term gain and that can be bad for businesses who’s aim is longevity. Shifting the work force from the United States to underdeveloped nations is a slap in the face to the communities who made the flourishing of these businesses possible in the first place. Without the hard work of workers here, the tax breaks and other incentives, these companies would never have been in a position to expand the way they have. Companies have an ethical responsibility to the people who made them who they are.

  4. Answering the question “Is Outsourcing Unethical” really makes one think inwardly and outwardly. It is impossible to answer this question hypothetically and honestly without the fear of possibly offending certain individuals or companies depending on your stance of “Nationalism -vs- Globalization”. The bottom line-it is legal-therfore it is ethical? Basically, i live by the thought that if something feels wrong, then there is a great chance it is wrong. I believe if a company acts for the greatest good, and the greatest good being for the people within its own borders, then it is completely ethical. Is outsourcing an issue of “Nationalism versus Globalization”? Of course it is. If you are living in this country, either your whole life, or just temporarily, you should take pride in contributing to making this country a more prosperous and ethical community by obeying the laws of the land and living within the construct of ones religion. By taking pride,this should include being able to speak the language of said country or region.

    A good question to pose is why are we discussing outsourcing, what brought so many countries to the point of outsourcing? Some say it had started since the beginning of time. Either through exploration and curiosity, or to trade amongst other territories to ease tensions of war. Today, most companies are forced to outsource due to increased competition, over regulation by the government, legal lawsuits, and lack of resources within one’s country.

    What are the implications of “free-trade” concerning outsourcing? The obvious one is the loss of domestic jobs. Another is the security risks involved with personal information, and the loss of complete control and liability. The word “trade” implies an exchange of reciprocity. How much are companies/countries getting in return? In the long run, are these companies/countries receiving as much as they give? Another view is that by outsourcing, these jobs created abroad help improve the standard of living within those underdeveloped communities. At what point should “protectionism” kick in and to what level. With developing and underdeveloped countries getting more economically sustainable, developed countries economies decline, thus leveling the playing field. Is this a good thing? Well, it is a very good thought, but you have to keep in mind the unstable leadership of some of the developing countries. What will the leaders do with there new found riches. These day, it seems that it is every countries goal to have nuclear capabilities, but who will be the next with an itchy trigger finger?

    Can outsourcing increase the customer’s confidence? That can be answered many ways. It is totally dependent on whether by doing so, that companies profits improve greatly. Confidence should only increase if by outsourcing abroad creates as many new jobs, as it sends out. I know if I opened the paper and read that a company had sent many jobs overseas, I would tend to think they were not a strong company, thus I would not have much confidence in their future. I recently have lost confidence in certain customer service practices that many companies have employed over the past 10 years or so. When I purchase a product in the United States, I expect to speak with a represenative that speaks fluent english and is familiar with our customs and colloquialisms. I have had so much trouble communicating, either online or by phone to foreign represenatives. It can be very frustrating for both parties, the customer and the represenative trying to help you. One might say this can be beneficial for the company, because most frustrated customers will give up on trying to , let’s say, get a replacement part for their computer while it is still under warranty. On top of the manufacturer’s warranty, they purchased an extended warranty. Although, you can ask to speak to a represenative from the US, that is just one more action the customer has to take to get a result, where a company needs to keep its priority customer’s in mind at all times so as to not lose them.

    So is outsourcing ethical? Yes, but there will always be shades of grey. The topic and implications can run as small or as great as you are willing to discuss. The short term gains can be great, one can only hope to predict the long term effects being beneficial.

  5. Hemma we all hear they are taking our jobs and there are no jobs for the aveage working people anywhere. Yet I see adds daily for workers and have employeers calling me looking for people to work for them. When I tell other poeple the first thing they tend to ask is how much does it pay? I always wonder how much they are making doing noting and how they expect to find oportuities when they do not give the job a chance to work into something bigger. Most of my students want to start at the top but we all know that is not what genearly happens in orgainizations. Everyone please note my login is Fra4469 but my name is Frank R. and I will continue to post under this login. Have a great day of purposefull living.

    • Frank I agree some people or some new gradute that way but how do you explain the unemployment is at 9.4% nationally and rising? I know a new graduate worked over the Sumer for free as intern at my work place just to get experince.

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