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MGT 491 Business Policy And Strategy

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MGT 491 Business Policy And Strategy

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Course Code: MGT491
University: The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro

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Country: United States

Question:
1. What should Chiquita do?
2. Why should Chiquita do so? What possible advantages might your decision (in question 1) bring to Chiquita? Provide evidence to support your decision. 

Answer:
1. Carlos Castano ,the leader of United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), one of the most violent and brutal paramilitary forces that existed in Colombia  had proposed to provide security to the employees and property of Banadex ,subsidiary of Chiquita Brands,  in return of few thousand dollars per month (Chiquita.Com ) . Considering the situation, Chiquita should opt for the option of refusing to pay the money to the Colombian paramilitary organization, United Self Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC). 
2. Carlos Castano , the leader of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) , a Colombian Paramilitary organization is demanding money every  month in return of providing security services to Banadex. The AUC are the violent paramilitary organization that is known for their notorious activities that includes assassinations, guerilla warfare and others (Rosenau) . Some of the possible advantages of choosing the option of refusing to pay the money demanded by AUC are as follows:

Even if they had agreed to pay the money to AUC, it was not guaranteed that they would not harm their employees working in Banadex, Colombia .If they are supported and encouraged, they might demand for money in future also so it would create a situation of panic for both the employees  and management of Banadex. They would also increase their networks and connections with the money taken from Banadex, which would increase the potential threat, and they might apply the same for other developed companies as well. On the other hand by choosing to refuse to pay the demand money to AUC, they would be able to set an example or role model to other companies as well that they are not in favour of supporting extortion or blackmails. This would increase the respect and brand value of Banadex globally.
Banadex , subsidiary of Chiquita Brands at Colombia would be able to prevent huge loss of their market share and the distribution they have created in Colombia over almost 100 years by choosing to not to exit from the country abandoning their business in Colombia  (Wicks and  Mead). If they chose to refuse to pay the demand money to AUC not only they would be able to avoid blackmailing but also they would be able to prevent huge loss as Banadex was responsible for managing Chiquita’s extensive plantation holding and it was Chiquita’s most profitable international operation. They should also not exit the country or abandon the operations at Banadex, Colombia because Banadex was responsible for 4400 direct and additional 8000 indirect jobs in Colombia. If they choose to exit the country, this decision would jeopardize the livelihood of those workers and employees associated with Banadex in Colombia, rather they should operate in Colombia and chose to refuse to pay the demanded money to the violent paramilitary organization in Colombia.
By the 1990s Colombia had become a very violent country and activities like kidnappings, murders, blackmails and other detrimental activities have become very common. Thus considering the scenario, it is not logical or advisable to agree to the demands of AUC and pay the demanded money, as it would encourage other organizations and criminal groups to extract money from Banadex by force or other unethical means. Thus by taking the decision of refusing to pay the extortion money, Banadex would be able to prevent any potential future threats to the company.
The other advantage of this decision of Banadex would be that it would create a feeling of trust in the employees and workers of Banadex as  no employees or workers would like to work in an organization that supports terrorist or criminal groups .

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the law enforcement agency of USA and the intelligence and security serviced of USA has advised all the companies to not indulge or entertain extortions or blackmails of any criminal or terrorist group (Parkman and  Peeling). They are advised to inform the security agency of the country about such incidents to avoid such threats to their business and employees. If any company is convicted in indulgence in such activities, they may be fined and punished by the United States Justice Department. Thus considering the situation and considering the federal laws of USA, the appropriate decision for Chiquita Brands would be to opt for the decision of refusing to pay the demanded money to AUC.
Question 3: What possible drawbacks might Chiquita face if it decides to implement your decision? 
Answer:  The drawbacks that the Banadex may face if they do not agree to the terms of the violent paramilitary organization, AUC of Colombia are:

If Banadex reject the offer of protection from Carlos Castano, the leader of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), they are high chances that they would kidnap or execute the employees of Banadex considering the ample evidence of the brutality of the paramilitary organization, AUC. Thus, the decision of refusing to pay the demanded money to the paramilitary organization would jeopardize the life and property of the employees and workers of Banadex.
The employees and workers may leave their jobs in fear that the paramilitary organization, AUC of Colombia may harm them or might kill them , if they come to know that Banadex have decided to reject the offers from AUC and refused to pay them the demanded money . The employees are well aware of the notoriety and brutality of the paramilitary organization, AUC and may chose to leave their jobs considering the fact that Banadex are not concerned about the security and safety of their employees (Acemoglu,  Robinson and  Santos) . This is  also one of the drawback or disadvantage by Banadex  if they take the decision to refuse to pay the demanded money to AUC. 

The ethical issue that the Banadex, the subsidiary of Chiquita Brands should consider is that they should follow the compliance and Governance issues, which is one of the vital ethical issues that needs to be followed by any business organization (Shaw and  Barry). It is the responsibility of Chiquita Brands to fully comply with the environmental laws, federal and state safety regulations, fiscal and all civil right laws. Thus, taking in account the ethical consideration they should not entertain the demands of the violent paramilitary organization of Colombia and should refuse to pay the demanded money, as it is unethical and against laws to pay money against blackmailing (Weiss). It is also not ethical to finance the paramilitary group like United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) as they would use this money to conduct crime and terrorist activities that would be against humanity (Nussio and  Oppenheim). 
Some suggestions or tips that are needed to be followed by Chiquita Brands are as follows:

It is suggested and recommended that the Banadex, subsidiary of the Chiquita Brands should seek the help of the US government , to take actions and preventive measures in order to counter the paramilitary organization, AUC of Colombia. It is the ethical responsibility of the US government to protect and safeguard people of their own country in the region of Colombia. It is also not possible for the Banadex, to hire a security company to protect the plantation and employees at Banadex, Colombia, as it would cost a lot to hire sufficient men to withstand the force of 8000 to 11000 paramilitary fighters. It is only possible for the government to combat such large and violent paramilitary force.
The company Banadex contributes to almost $70 million annually to the Colombian economy in the form of capital expenditures, pay roll, taxes, social security, pensions and local purchases of goods and services. The company had been operating in Colombia for almost about 100 years and it had engaged almost 8000 local Colombian workers working for Banadex, Colombia. Considering these conditions, Banadex also should seek help from the government of Colombia, as they are capable of protecting the plantation and employees of Banadex against the violent terrorist organization of Colombia, AUC. It is also the duty of Colombian government to safeguard the employees and property of Banadex, who had been doing business in their country for more than 100 years, employed several people of Colombia for their business and had contributed a huge amount to the economy of the country. If the Colombian Government do not help Banadex in this situation , it would have more adverse effects in future as these paramilitary organizations like United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) would be encouraged to do such activities more often and it would affect many other companies thriving in Colombia .

References
“Home | Chiquita”. Chiquita.Com, 2018, https://www.chiquita.com/. Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
Acemoglu, Daron, James A. Robinson, and Rafael J. Santos. “The monopoly of violence: Evidence from Colombia.” Journal of the European Economic Association 11.suppl_1 (2013): 5-44.
Nussio, Enzo, and Ben Oppenheim. “Anti-social capital in former members of non-state armed groups: A case study of Colombia.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 37.12 (2014): 999-1023.
Parkman, Tim, and Gill Peeling. Countering Terrorist Finance: A Training Handbook for Financial Services. Routledge, 2017.
Rosenau, William, et al. “Why They Join, Why They Fight, and Why They Leave: Learning From Colombia’s Database of Demobilized Militants.” Terrorism and Political Violence 26.2 (2014): 277-285.
Shaw, William H., and Vincent Barry. Moral issues in business. Cengage Learning, 2015.
Weiss, Joseph W. Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014.
 Wicks, Andrew C., and Jenny Mead. “Chiquita in Colombia.” Darden Business Publishing Cases (2017): 1-11.

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