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August 1st, 2002
Land of Wandering Souls
Profits and Principles: Introduction

Alcatel’s activities in Cambodia show the two faces of globalization: jobs for the foreign poor on the one hand, perceptions of sub-standard conditions on the other. The media carries both messages– along with advertising — direct to consumers and investors. Increasingly, as a result of bad publicity, lawsuits — and perhaps conscience — many multinational corporations (including Alcatel) have begun to consider more fully the responsibilities that come with global opportunity. For many, this means establishing “best practices,” or “statements of social responsibility.” These company policies promise returns not only to shareholders but to other so-called stakeholders in the corporate pursuit of profit: foreign workers, women and minorities, consumers and even the environment.

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