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Sarah Williams has recently been appointed as the country manager for Lead-Excel's operations in Bangladesh.

Ms. Sarah Williams has recently been appointed as the country manager for Lead-Excel's operations in Bangladesh. Lead-Excel is a well-known fashion label in Australia, and in 2014 decided to outsource its manufacturing operations to China and Bangladesh to take advantage of low-cost manufacturing. The manufacturing is outsourced to local factories in the respective countries. In the wake of the Rana Plaza incident, Lead-Excel felt that a country manager in Bangladesh could help monitor the manufacturing process to ensure that working conditions in the contracted factory were safe, and Lead-Excel's products were manufactured without the use of child labour.


During her first month of working in Bangladesh, Sarah has been pleasantly surprised to find that the factory has stringent safety requirements. However, she notices that 80% of the factory's workers are women. She investigates this further and finds that women are paid 15 percent less than their male counterparts who do the same work in the factory. She has also discovered that some claims of use of child-labour in the factory were raised but these were not found in any reports produced by the government work safety audit. She suspects that this may in part be due to high levels of corruption in the country.


At a social gathering of expatriates, Sarah raises her concerns about women being underpaid and possible use of child-labour and suggests that she will be raising this as an issue with the head-office in Australia. A fellow Australian expatriate, Jim Brown has been working in Bangladesh for 5 years. After listening to Sarah's concerns, he approaches her and suggests that the practice of paying women less than men is legal and acceptable in the country, and it would be insensitive of Sarah to attempt to force her Australian beliefs and values when operating in Bangladesh. Jim also suggests that her company's decision to move manufacturing to Bangladesh was to take advantage of the low-cost of manufacturing, and her managers are unlikely to take any action on any unproven claims of child labour that may result in higher wages. Sarah however feels that the practices are unethical.


Using the ethical theories/perspectives covered in the subject, analyze the situation and explain why you believe the practice is ethical or unethical under each theory. Also, refer to the corruption issue and provide a comparison of the corruption score for the two countries (Australia and Bangladesh).

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