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The Cultural Dimension of Business Ethics


1 There’s much to be discussed here with its implications of the Protestant Ethic vs. other belief systems of sharing wealth. ‘You reap what you sow’ advocates a self-interest orientation commonly emphasized in capitalist countries whereas, in socialist & communist countries equality and sharing wealth are essential. Even though communism ended with the fall of the Berlin wall, it’s principles are still acclaimed by many.

2 The difference between morality and ethics is argued by several philosophers granting either one as the reference of norms encompassing the other one as the application. For example, morality contains the principles guiding judgments of right & wrong, good & bad whereas ethics would be considered the actual application of these principles leading to a decision. However, some treat these two concepts interchangeably. There’s no etymological distinction to be made if only in terms of origins (Greek ethiké ; Latin : Moralis )

3 Nancy J. Adler International Dimensions of Organization Behaviour Canada Southwestern pp.64-66

4 ibid., p. 65

5 Paul Ricoeur Le Juste 2 Paris Esprit 2001

6 op.cit, Adler p. 16

7 Business ethics is an extensive domain covering many different professions in which norms and codes of behaviour vary (i.e. medical profession, legal profession, as well as industrial norms generated by the specific sector healthcare, IT industry, energy, etc.)

8 Ronald M. Green The Ethical Manager, A New Method for Business Ethics New York Macmillan p. 87

9 op.cit., Adler p. 51

10 ibid., p. 114

11 ibid., p. 67 – 69

12 Child Labor Child Care, Harvard Business Review case study January-February 1993

13 op.cit., Adler pp. 16 – 17

14 op.cit., Ricoeur pp.42 – 45

15 Philippe d’Iribarne La Logique de l’Honneur, Gestion des Entreprises et traditions nationals Paris Seuil 1989 d’Iribarne gives a remarkable analysis between managing companies and their national traditions

16 op.cit., Adler, pp. 52 – 63

17 E. Hall : Understanding Cultural Differences pp. 48 – 50

18 Benjamin Lee Whorf Language, Thought & Reality, Cambridge MIT Press p.

19 Cultural models & ethical theories charts, analysis is in progress, not yet available.

20 op.cit. Green pp. 171 – 76

21 Rob van Tulder / Ans Kolk ‘Multinationality and Corporate Ethics : Codes of Conduct in the Sporting Goods Industry’ Journal of International Business Studies, N° 32,2 (second quarter 2001) pp. 267 – 83

22 ‘situationalism’ is my own coined term as it signifies a contextual approach to all that occurs within the specific situation (‘situational leadership’, situational ethics) a response based upon the actual situation (context)

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? / what is an ethical issue?  
3.2 Evaluating ethical situations
4.0 Cultural relativism / ethical universalism
About Gale Prawda




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Philosophical Coaching

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Using philosophical skills:
– Dialogue
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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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