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Language Barrier: Sales Challenges in a Multicultural Environment

Ralph was a sales representative of a small but fast-growing new mobile and social advertising platform, working directly with the co-founder, Mike. Ralph was responsible for door-to-door sales by approaching new small and medium businesses to sell this platform which would allow the businesses to gain a virtual customer following. These business owners often spoke English as a second language and thus clear communication was key.

Still in college, Ralph approached a small haircutting salon and secured them as a client with a $100 signup fee. Ralph was happy as he was paid on commission. However, the situation soon turned sour as the hairdresser was furious upon learning that she did not receive $100 worth of customers but instead had signed up for a mobile customer platform.

Mike as the founder was now stuck in tough situation. Ralph claimed that there was a large language barrier and thus the hairdresser wrongly presumed that she was receiving $100 of customers. Ralph was also aware of similar situations with other small business owners for whom English was a second language and who thus had difficulty in understanding the nature of the product.

Ralph was also aware that, as a startup, the company had no funds or time to use translating services to alleviate the situation.
Should Mike make the executive decision to work only with English-speaking customers, and is that an ethical solution?

A customer asked for a product from us today. After telling him our price, he said he could not afford it. I know he could get it cheaper from a competitor. Should I tell him about the competitor -- or let him go without getting what he needs? What is the guideline for us? The societal interest or the personal interest?

Our company prides itself on its meritbased pay system. One of our employees has done a tremendous job all year, so he deserves strong recognition. However, he has already paid at the top of the salary range for his job grade and our company has too many people in the grade above him, so we cannot promote him. What should I do?"

Our company prides itself on hiring minorities. One Asian candidate fully fits the job requirements for our open position. However, we are concerned that our customers will not understand his limited command of the English language. What should be done in these circumstances?

My boss told me that one of my employees is among several others to be laid off soon, and that I'm not to tell my employee yet or he might tell the whole organization which would soon be in an uproar. Meanwhile, I heard from my employee that he plans to join his daughter in an engineering college. What should I do?"

My computer operator told me he had noticed several personal letters printed from a computer that I was responsible to manage. While we had no specific policies then against personal use of company facilities, I was concerned. I approached the letter writer to discuss the situation. She told me she had written the letters on her own time to practice using our word processor. What should I do?"

A fellow employee told me that he plans to quit the company in two months and start a new job, which has been guaranteed to him. Meanwhile, my boss told me that he wasn't going to give me a new opportunity in our company because he was going to give it to my fellow employee now. What should I do?"

INDIAN BUSINESS LAWS AND THEIR IMPACT ON ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR:

All laws relating to business in India, can be broadly classified into 2 categories Business laws Labour laws

The Industries development and regulation act


This Act enacted in 1951 with the main objective of giving practical effect to the industrial policy, gave the government sweeping powers to control industries. It empowers the central government to develop and regulate the industrial sector in India, through suitable and appropriate means.

Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973:


This Act applies to all citizens of India, outside India and to branches of companies registered in India. The main objective of FERA is the conservation of the foreign exchange resources of the country and the proper utilization thereof in the interests of the economic developments of the country.

The Companies Act, 1956


This Act provides for a greater government control over the formation and management of companies.

The Monopolies and restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969


The main objective of this Act is to control the concentration of economic power and monopolies and to prohibit monopolistic restrictive and unfair trade practices. The act has restricted and stopped many misleading advertisements, adulteration and all sorts of false trade practices.

The Essential Commodities Act, 1955


It was set to provide in the interest of the general public, control of production, supply and distribution of trade and commerce in certain commodities.

Some of the other laws to control business behaviour are The capital issues control act 1956 The securities contracts act 1956 The imports and exports act 1947 The Indian Patents Act.1970 The partnership Act.1932 The sale of goods act 1930 The consumer Protection act 1986

Laws relating to weaker Section (ie, children and women)


The Factories Act, 1948 The Mines Act, 1952 The Plantation Labour Act, 1951 The employment of children Act, 1938 Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

Laws relating to Specific Matters Wages


The payment of wages Act, 1963 The minimum Wages Act, 1948 The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

Laws relating to Specific Matters Social Security


Workmen Compensation Act, 1923 Retrenchment Benefit Act The payment of Bonus Act, 1965 Employee State Insurance Act, 1948 Fatal Accident Act, 1955

Trade union Act, 1926 Industrial dispute Act, 1947 The workmen compensation Act, 1923 Bonded Labour system(Abolition)Act, 1976

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