Ethics in global business and in a plural society

Journal of Business Ethics 44 (1):23 - 36 (2003)

The contemporary confluence of globalization and ethical pluralism is at the origin of many ethical challenges that confront business nowadays, both in practice and in theory. One of the challenges arising from the development of globalization has to do with respect for cultural diversity. It is often said that the success of economic globalization tends towards social and cultural homogeneity. To the extent that cultural diversity is usually seen as a valuable reality, that global trend seems to contradict our efforts to respect ethical pluralism, both personal and cultural, within society. In this paper I argue that (a) ethical minimalism, despite its emphasis on tolerance and justice, does not take pluralism seriously into account in present-day society, and (b) ethical minimalism is not suited to balancing the homogenizing trend of globalization. Certainly ethical norms are necessary, but by no means are they sufficient in themselves to encourage either justice or tolerance; nor are they sufficient to inspire and encourage good practices and sound regulations. Instead, virtue-based ethics has the capacity of inspiring and encouraging good practices. Particularly, virtue-based ethics is able to inspire a serious dialogue about ethical and legal issues both in the public arena and within organizations.
Keywords authenticity  ethical pluralism  globalization  human nature  liberal-communitarian debate  minimalist ethics  natural law  practical reason  practical truth  rationality  virtue ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1023230222707
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,566
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Scaffold For Muir.Lisa H. Newton - 2000 - The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics 2:219-230.
Caveat Emptor: Ethical Chauvinism in the Global Economy. [REVIEW]Gina Vega - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1353-1362.
Ethics in Countries with Different Cultural Dimensions.Ruth Alas - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 69 (3):237-247.
Ethical Relativism in a Multicultural Society.Ruth Macklin - 1998 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 8 (1):1-22.


Added to PP index

Total views
535 ( #6,231 of 2,325,876 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #174,092 of 2,325,876 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature