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The Cultural Dimension of Business Ethics

3.0 Ethics & ethical theories 

How can managers grapple with the different evaluations of the ‘same’ action which are embodied in different languages and cultures and described differently ? 

Let’s take a look at some ethical dilemmas using several different ethical theories of evaluation concerning the ‘same’ event / action and then look at the interpretation of the ethical dilemma itself from the cultural perspective :  

Ethics overlaps with culture because it represents the moral dimension of how we should behave in the world. There are several codes of behaviour we pick up along the way either through religious beliefs (10 commandments or other religious scriptures) or social values (courage, integrity, etc.). What we value comes into question when confronting an ethical dilemma. Confronted with moral choice brings the cultural as context of interpretation and the ethical consideration together. It is the place in which the decision responds to the specific context and its method of evaluation. For example, if we have to make a decision either to break a promise and be honest or to keep a promise and be dishonest evaluating this dilemma would be treated differently from the following ethical theories : 

Deontological Theory – family of ethical theories encompassing moral rules
– nonconsequentialist approach when the consequences of an action are not taken into account (for the decision) the rule is the rule regardless of the consequences/ consequentialist approach considers the outcome of the decision as part of the decision making process 

Utilitarianism – teleological approach "the greatest happiness for the greatest number"
– What decision would bring the greatest happiness for the greatest number

NORM – moral rule set to apply to everyone
– Finds the rule that would be acceptable to all stakeholders involved if they were faced with the same ethical dilemma
– Based on Kantian moral philosophy analysing the human experience to find the common denominator – put yourself in someone else’s place 

1.0 Cultural dimensions of Business Ethics  
1.1 Cultural dimensions impact on management 
1.2  Management & ethics 
2.0 Culture & cultural dimensions
2.1 Culture as context of interpretation
2.2 Cultural dimensions
3.0 Ethics & ethical theories
3.1 Ethics in moral choice : what is ethical? / an ethical issue?  
3.2 Evaluating ethical situations
4.0 Cultural relativism / ethical universalism
About Gale Prawda
Footnotes


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Using philosophical skills:
– Dialogue
– Analytic thinking
– Philosophical Schools of Thought : existentialism, phenomenology, Dasein analyze, Greek philosophers, etc.

Guided by Gale Prawda, Ph.D.:
– Certified philosophy practitioner, SCP,U.K.
Founder café philo in English : Paris, London
Socratic Dialogue Facilitator, Oxford U.K.
Lecturer on Business Ethics, Cross-cultural Management and Communication, Philosophy & Business Strategy

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