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40 Managerial L. 1 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/ijlm40 and id is 1 raw text is: Volume 40 Number 1 1998

Juan and Audrey - An Environmental Tale
for Transnational Managers: Corporate and
Individual Culpability and Liability under
American Environmental Laws
David C. Wyld, Associate Professor of Management, Southeastern Louisiana
This paper examines an important issue for transnational managers and their inter-
national companies to consider for their current or contemplated operations in the
United States that of compliance issues under American environmental regula-
tions. Through the narrative ofthe fictional account of Juan, atransnational corpo-
rate executive, and Audrey, an independent environmental consultant, the
multifaceted environmental issues that must be considered by a firm with U.S. op-
erations are explored. Following the narrative, abrief overview of American envi-
ronmental law is presented, focusing on the growing trend for both organizational
and individual accountability under federal environmental laws. In the ensuing
discussion, an effective present day environmental compliance strategy is exam-
ined and a glimpse into the future is deliberated.
The story that follows is fictional, but its implications are very real. It is a tale
that should be heeded by all international companies seeking to operate in the
United States. After the ten chapters of the story, we will examine the nature of
American environmental laws and the implications for transnational companies
and their executives.
Chapter 1 - Doing an O.J.
Juan feels a sense of anticipation as he sits in his businessclass seat, winging his
way to JFK. When he hears the pilot announce that they would be landing shortly,
he begins readying his appearance for arrival at the gate.
As Juan tightens his tie and runs his hands through his hair, he reflects with
confidence on the decision he spearheaded to locate his company's newest factory
in the heartland of the corporation's biggest market - the United States. On the
overnight flight from his homeland, Juan had read a Wall Street Journal article the
C.F.O. had sent to him. The article stated that the corporation was far from alone in
investing in its U.S. operations, as in the midtolate 1990s, billions of stable capital
is pouring in from British, German, French, Japanese, and other companies that
are buying U.S. affiliates, building U.S. factories and putting down roots here (the
U.S.) (Phillips, 1997, A1). Surely, Juan assured himself, this would be the step
which would not only cement his company's current share of the American mar-
ket for whatchamacallit, but also enable them to become a major force in the U.S.


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