Globalization of Business Ethics

1882 Words Apr 14th, 2008 8 Pages
“The more one knows ethics, the more it is used and the more useful it becomes”-Plato, The quote by Plato is a reminder on just how important ethics is and how important it is to educate yourself on proper ethical practices. In the following paper I would like to look at the topic of global business ethics. Recent studies in business ethics have shown both remarkable similarities and differences across cultures with respect to attitudes toward questionable business practices. First I would like to talk about the affect that culture has on ethical behavior. Next, I would like to talk about ethical complexities and challenges facing businesses that operate internationally, mainly focusing in on multinational corporations and the ethical …show more content…
A deeper and less obvious level comprises those things which individuals hold dear and which guide their behavior. They serve as rules of conduct and can be important guidelines for how individuals should or ought to behave. The Japanese elevation of politeness in behavior may reflect the limited physical space in the island nation. However, politeness to others is clearly how the Japanese should behave toward one another. Violations of the norm cause others surprise and anger and sometimes lead to sanctions against the offender. The third and hidden level represents values, and specifically represents the assumptions we use to perceive and deal with reality. For example, some cultures perceive people as essentially good while others tend to take a more pessimistic view. It is difficult to separate the lower two levels since attitudes and values tend to overlap. However, they form the underpinnings of individual and business interactions.
Managers like clear guidelines to aid their decision-making. A list of rules citing prohibitions and allowed practices is often helpful. Unfortunately, such lists are too simple to guide cross-cultural ethical interaction. For example, gift giving is not usually prohibited in most cultures. However, in a given culture, giving a gift may be ethical or unethical. In some societies, like China, presentation of a small, carefully chosen business gift conveys a great deal of respect and is a sign…

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