Cross-cultural management ethics in multinational commerce

Authored by: Terence Jackson

The Routledge Companion to Business Ethics

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138789562
eBook ISBN: 9781315764818
Adobe ISBN:


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Despite the fact that the foundations of extant cross-cultural management studies have been based on concepts of national values, little of the theory developed has been translated into an understanding of ethics across different cultures. Where the step from descriptive values to normative ethics has been taken, this is often in an uncritical way. Much of the foundation of cross-cultural management studies based on differences in values has been criticized over the last few years, with Geert Hofstede’s (1980a) seminal work receiving particular attention. Despite a number of studies that have sought to offer alternatives or updates to Hofstede’s now ageing study, there remain questions about the conceptual foundations of such an approach. The current chapter seeks to review the work in this area, discussing the relevance to a consideration of differences in ethicality, or an appreciation of what is ethical or not ethical across cultural contexts in multinational commerce, and to provide an appraisal of what is missing from a critical theory of management ethics across countries and the future of research in this area.

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