This case considers the attitudes of stakeholders in a risk management challenge of a major foreign bank operating in an emerging market country in the Mediterranean region. The case provides insights into the task facing an international organisation trying to operate in a sociallyresponsible way in a developing economy, where operating conditions are quite different from the head office environment.
The case is designed for MBA and MSc students studying corporate social responsibility (CSR), international business, emerging markets, country risk (and related subjects).
The case discusses the implications of the actions of a negligent/possibly dishonest lawyer in undermining an international bank's risk management systems. The lawyer did not register the sale of a house, causing it to be repossessed by the bank, thinking that the property still belonged to the vendor, who had allowed a large overdraft to accumulate. By chance, the repossession of the house and subsequent forced judicial sale was averted, but to ensure undisputed ownership the real owner of the house was left with heavy legal bills. There were several players possibly at fault here: the lawyer; the bank; the vendor; the local courts; and the real estate agents (who recommended the dishonest lawyer to the purchaser in the first place).
Expected learning outcomes
These include a clearer understanding of the different stakeholder perspectives, and a greater appreciation of the challenges of doing business for aWestern multinational company now operating in emerging markets worldwide.
The concept of CSR in emerging markets is very different from the way CSR is viewed in more developed ones – posing several challenges for international companies (especially banks) in the way they operate. Making assumptions of ethical ways of doing business can cause great problems, as discussed in this case – especially in the way that different stakeholders are impacted.
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