Business Ethics: The Coca-Cola Company

  • Alex Le
  • Jason Jiang
  • Mike Sandor
  • Mitchell Stashick
  • Liza Zhang
Keywords: Colombia, Coca-Cola, Confucianism, labor, Business Ethics


This paper uses Coca-Cola, multinational enterprise (MNE), as an example to demonstrate the importance of business ethics, and using Chinese Confucianism as a benchmark to measure the company’s business ethics. The paper looks at Coca-Cola business ethics through perspectives such as business practices, corporate responsibility policy, legal agreements, financial records, human rights, labor rights, local laws, and U.S. laws. After murders of union leaders took place in Coca-Cola Colombia bottling plants, the world was outraged by how indifferent Coca-Cola is when looking after its workers and dealing with issues that have arisen at Coca-Cola’s bottling plants in Colombia. Coca-Cola’s business ethics were questioned, and labor activists have been actively seeking to pressure Coca-Cola U.S.A. by creating customer awareness using Coca-Cola financial records and agreements that Coca-Cola has signed as well as the public responses that Coca-Cola took when dealing with the incidents that took place at bottling plants in Colombia to against the Coca-Cola parent company. By looking into each perspective, we hope to find out whether Coca-Cola has performed ethically or living up to their promises. Our research concludes that for most of the perspectives, Coca-Cola has not behaved ethically based on Confucianism.