Thomas Donaldson Summary.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 2074F/G
Professor
Dean Proessel
Semester
Summer

Description
THOMAS DONALDSONVALUES IN TENSION ETHICS AWAY FROM HOMEWhen is Different Just Different and when is Different WrongEven the bestinformed bestintentioned executives must rethink their assumptions about business practice in foreign settingsWhat works in a companys home country can fail in a country with different standards of ethical conductSuch difficulties are unavoidable for businesspeople who live and work abroadCompeting AnswersAccording to cultural relativism no cultures ethics are better than any others therefore there are no international rights and wrongsIn many countries the combination of ineffective enforcement and inadequate regulations leads to behavior by unscrupulous companies that is clearly wrongCultural relativism is morally blindoThere are fundamental values that cross cultures and companies must uphold themAt the other end of the spectrum from cultural relativism is ethical imperialism which directs people to do everywhere exactly as they do at homeTheory behind ethical imperialism is absolutismbased on three problematic principles1Absolutists believe that there is a single list of truths oClashes with many peoples belief that different cultural traditions must be respectedoIn some cultures loyalty to a community family organization or society is the foundation of all ethical behaviorThe Japanese define business ethics in terms of loyalty to their companies their business net
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