Is our thinking sound when we are using sweatshops in Asian countries, paying bribes to secure contracts, and tolerate social and environmental degradation based on the argument that everyone else is doing it, and if we do not, a competitor will be justified? Business across borders presents a minefield of ethical dilemmas that many managers are ill-equipped to handle. This article addresses three major myths about intercultural management: the appeal to the local etiquette through moral consider … Read more »

Is our thinking sound when we are using sweatshops in Asian countries, paying bribes to secure contracts, and tolerate social and environmental degradation based on the argument that everyone else is doing it, and if we do not, a competitor will be justified? Business across borders presents a minefield of ethical dilemmas that many managers are ill-equipped to handle. This article looks at three main myths concerned about cross-cultural management: the appeal to the local etiquette on moral considerations, the idea that tolerance is based on relativism and subjectivism, cross-cultural dilemmas to solve, and the belief that profit justifies dubious means. By weighing and analyzing the arguments from ethical point of view with logic and reasoning, the author shows how decisions can be even with the best intentions lead to unethical behavior. It shows some commonly accepted values ​​and timeless notions of the common good as a better basis for building an ethical framework. The article contains some dilemmas for readers to consider for themselves, to help all international managers formulate sound approaches with the questionable behaviors that they should avoid facing across cultures.
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Sophia Kusyk
Source: IESE Insight Magazine
7 pages.
Publication Date: Jun 15, 2010. Prod #: IIR027-PDF-ENG
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