The Business Ethics Issue of Globalization

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Business ethics Pages: 4 (1260 words) Published: December 8, 2013
In the present time and age, globalization has gained extreme importance and now has no geographic boundaries that hold back trade, culture, traveling or communication. With this growing globalization comes increased flow of trade, increased factors of production as well as increasingly difficult ethical dilemmas that multinational business owners have to face. Navigating the boundaries between right and wrong is more difficult than ever for companies that operate in several nations and across cultures. Multinational businesses will need to find a way to harmonize the core values of the business with the universal ethical norms that they will face. There are a huge number of ethical dilemmas that these companies could face but with this paper, we will focus on dealing with universal norms between cultures and facing the obstacles of sweatshops.

First, cultural divides can lead to a conflict between moral values within a multinational business setting. Our textbook states that, “ethical relativism asserts that whatever a country says is right or wrong for that country really is right or wrong for that country (Beauchamp, Bowie & Arnold 573).” This ethical idea states that we should always follow the moral values of our society no matter where we are but conforming to practices of etiquette is acceptable because it shows respect for the other country. On the Santa Clara University website, it is stated that, “If ethical relativism is correct, there can be no common framework for resolving moral disputes or for reaching agreement on ethical matters among members of different societies (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks and Meyer).” This statement concludes that because cultures and societies around the globe are diverse, settling disputes can be difficult because of the lack of common values and beliefs. The opposing view of ethical relativism is ethical absolutism. In the article, “Ethical Relativism Vs Absolutism: Research Implications”, McDonald explains that whereas...

Cited: Beauchamp, Tom L., Norman E. Bowie, and Denis Gordon. Arnold. Ethical Theory and Business. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River (N.J.): Pearson, 2009. Print.
This ethical textbook features definitions, explanations, legal cases, scholarly articles and mini-case studies which facilitate the learning of ethical practices. The chapters cover a range of topics from marketing and advertising to whistle blowing within corporations.
Kristof, Nicholas. "Where Sweatshops Are a Dream." New York Times. N.p., 14 Jan. 2009. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. .
This article was featured in the New York Times and it pointed out the benefits that were being provided by sweatshops in third world countries. The need for jobs and money is so huge that sweatshops are a beneficial way for those citizens to gain money for living. (Google “New York Times Sweatshops”)
McDonald, Gael. "Ethical Relativism Vs Absolutism: Research Implications." European Business Review 22.4 (2010): 446-64. ProQuest. 30 Apr. 2013
This article features the significant role that relativism and absolutism play in the development of ethical theory. This paper examines both relativity and absolutism and then concludes the implications that warrant further investigation. The consequences of accepting relativism are pointed out which go against the existence of global moral standards. (Proquest “Ethical Absolutism”)
Velasquez, Manuel, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, and Michael J. Meyer. "Ethical Relativism." Ethical Relativism. Santa Clara University, n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. .
This website supported by Santa Clara University highlighted some points and implications of ethical relativism. As well as pointing out the implications, this website pointed out the arguments against ethical relativism. (Google “Ethical Relativism”)
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