Wednesday, October 14, 2009


An easy way to look at corporate ethics when one is away from home in another nation is to Do in Rome as the Romans do?

But this kind of absolutist approach can lead to various problems. The answer lies somewhere in between. Different nations have different core values which define their ethics. What may feel lie bribery to an American, may be in keeping with Japan's longstanding tradition of gift giving-sometimes very costly ones. Many business practices neither exist in black nor in white but in a Gray Zone. One approach can also be, to do everywhere exactly as the managers do at home. But this again is clearly inadequate as every country has the right to establish its own rules regarding health and safety etc. To find any guiding principles is very difficult in this context. But if the managers try not to become either absolutists or relativists then answer lies here in the following three principles;

-Respect for core human values irrespective of the place you are in;

-Respect for local traditions;

-Follow the belief that context matters when deciding what is right and what is wrong

1 comment:

  1. You have hit the nail....respect for people as individual, and their culture and tradition is indeed critical and essential...