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Chapter 10.1

A small presentation on Understanding Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
by

Vasu Taak

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 10.1

Cultural Relativism & Ethical Imperialism Ethics Ethics deals with what is good or bad and with moral obligation Law Many Western countries embrace the rule of law. These written laws establish standards or rules that citizens are expected to follow An example to illustrate the difference between cultural relativism and ethical imperialism in international business is the question of the employment of children. Ethical Imperialism &
Cultural Relativism Ethical Imperialism is the belief that certain behaviour is fundamentally right or wrong. Business Ethics and Law Understanding Business Ethics and Social Responsibility By: Valay Shah & Vasu Taak Business Ethics focuses on the behaviour of businesses in its treatment of employees, society, stockholders, and consumers Business ethics are crucial for determining policies for environmental issues, social responsibility, and human rights There is a difference between what is legal and what is ethical A society’s history and values determine its ethics. Ethics also govern relationships and interactions in a society as a whole Even though rules may permit companies to act in certain ways, those acts permitted may not be ethical. Many times this leads to conflicting interests between the two values. An ethical dilemma arises when a choice between two or more fundamentally ‘right’ options must be made Some companies choose to write a clear list of their values so these conflicts do not arise When involved in international business, many Canadian businesses find that the ethics that we hold here in Canada may not necessarily hold the same in other countries. This problem can lead to ethical dilemmas Dilemma Videos on Ethics In this case, an individual, company, or country might try to impose its ethical standards on another company or country. They believe that what they identify as good should be recognized universally as good. Cultural Relativism is the belief that behaviour should be governed by what will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Businesses who follow this ideology will not try to change its host country’s ethics as it believes it has equal validity with the ethics of their own country. In some country’s it is customary for children to work long hours at a young age and it is considered acceptable. In North America, this is seen as the exploitation of children. Ethical imperialists would not employ child workers while business’ following cultural relativism would accept children into the workplace as is the norm in the host country. Ethical imperialism and cultural relativism present two extremes: Ethical Imperialism Cultural Relativism Certain absolute truths apply everywhere
Universal values transcend cultures in determining what is right or wrong No culture’s ethics are superior
The values and practices of the local setting determine what is right or wrong Discussion Questions Q1: What is an example of a common ethical standard? Q2: If you are a Canadian business owner and are doing business in another country, would you adopt the ethical behaviour of the country you are doing business in (cultural relativism) or would you continue to conduct business according to Canadian values if that country follows starkly different ethics (ethical imperialism)? (For example, if the country accepts long hours with low wages, children are encouraged to work since they need to support their families, less safety equipment if it enhances work performance) Q3: In four groups, determine which dilemma paradigm of right-versus-right choices you would pick and explain why. Group 1: Truth vs. Loyalty Group 2: Individual vs. Community Group 3: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Group 4: Justice vs. Mercy Reinforcement Activity http://www.novonordisk.com/sustainability/games/games/business-ethics/business-etchics-game.asp We will play a game as a class where we will be representatives from a Pharmaceutical Company You will be presented with different business related situations. Your goal is to make ethical decisions in the different scenarios using what you have learned from our presentation Thankyou for being a wonderful Audience THE END
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