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Fortune magazine writes about the ten most admired companies in the US on an annual basis. It ranks these companies on categories based on eight attributes these companies use to maintain their reputation. These characteristics include people management, innovation, their use of corporate assets, quality of management, social responsibility, the value of their long-term investments, the quality of their products and the financial soundness. In 2008, by use of the Hay Group for surveying, Fortune surveyed more than 3100 people in various industries and asked people to choose their most admired organizations irrespective of their industry base.
Fortune has been making these publications since 1982. In 2008, the list that was published in order of the most admired companies from the top most respected was Apple, Berkshire, Hathaway, General Electric, Google, Toyota, Starbucks, FedEx, Procter and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and finally Goldman Sachs Group (Choo, 2002).
One of the biggest food processing companies, Chiquita Brands was being blackmailed and forced to pay some money on a monthly basis to AUC, a Columbian paramilitary organization, for what it called security reasons. The security protection was, in fact, to protect Chiquita from the AUC itself, and the local law enforcement and the US government could not do anything to control this bullying. This was happening in the Columbian branch, and thus, the organization had a difficult decision to make, whether to pay up the money or risk the lives of its employees when they decide not to pay. The company had its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio and it dealt with the supply of high-quality bananas in North America and Europe. The companys employees were about 25000 and made revenues of $4.5billion in 2006 (Choo, 2002). The company had used the Columbian plantations for more than 100 years with the workforce originating from the locals. Moreover, the company made tremendous contributions to the Columbian economy worth $70 million annually.
The AUC under the leadership of Carlos Costano was one of the most violent paramilitary organizations responsible for many acts against humanity, but since it had not yet been named a terrorist organization by the US state department, it was thus not considered illegal to do business with the organization. If Chiquita agreed to pay, it would be financing the terrorist acts carried out by the team but on the other hand, failing to pay would put the employees at risk of facing the wrath of the terrorist group that was capable of kidnapping and assassination. If the company chose to abandon the country, it would leave its employees jobless and affect the general business since the banana supplies came from the country and were distributed to many countries all over the world (Choo, 2002). This left the organization in one big dilemma. The best solution for Chiquita would be to seek the help of the US Department and name the militia group a terrorist organization where it would be banned and thereby action would be taken upon it.
Choo, C. W. (2002). Information management for the intelligent organization: the art of scanning the environment. Information Today, Inc.
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