The Development of International Business Norms

Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (4):729-754 (2004)

Abstract
International business norms do not exist. Content and development of such norms is a significant research question for business ethics scholarship. Any norms must address difficult practical and moral problems facing multinational enterprises. The author’s thesis is as follows. A key circumstance is that international relations remain a Hobbesian state of nature. The theoretical solution of a global sovereignty for norm formulation and enforcement is unlikely. The business ethics literature proposes other insightful but theoretical and conflicting solutions to abstract wealth-responsibility and universalism-relativism controversies. Theoretical convergence seems unlikely. Evolution of multiple international policy regimes fragmented by policy arena is more probable. Regimes will typically be neither morals by agreement nor a morality of the marketplace. Regime development can occur in various other ways. Moral leadership, by firms, stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations or governments, can be a vital force. Formal ethical theories caninform and guide such leadership initiatives. This process perspective is applied to several recent case examples cited here as supporting evidence: anti-corruption, labor, environmental, human rights, and fiduciary responsibility initiatives
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X  
DOI 10.5840/beq200414444
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References found in this work BETA

The Moral Authority of Transnational Corporate Codes.William C. Frederick - 1991 - Journal of Business Ethics 10 (3):165 - 177.
International Business, Morality, and the Common Good.Manuel Velasquez - 1992 - Business Ethics Quarterly 2 (1):27-40.
Social Contract. Essays by Locke, Hume and Rousseau.Ernest Barker - 1950 - Journal of Philosophy 47 (26):783-783.

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Citations of this work BETA

Revisiting the Global Business Ethics Question.Christopher Michaelson - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2):237-251.

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