Business Ethics in the Global Market

Monday, July 26, 1999

What special ethical problems arise for managers and employees of companies when they do business in countries and cultures other than their own? The essays in this book address the multifaceted aspects of this question and offer a range of thoughtful responses.

  • Ellen Frankel Paul examines two sexual harassment suits filed in America against Mitsubishi and turns the company's public relations debacle into an excellent case study of how a corporation should not act when doing business in a foreign land.
  • Elaine Sternberg goes beyond cultural relativism to show how the diversity and complexity of circumstances and values in different parts of the world are in fact perfectly compatible with universally valid principles of business ethics.
  • Amartya Sen explodes the myth that the tradition of authoritarian governance and the suppression of political and civil rights in Asian culture is actually beneficial to economic development.
  • Robert W. McGee reveals the fatal flaws in utilitarian approaches to trade policy and argues that all trade is essentially individual contract—and that an ethical trade policy cannot violate the property or contract rights of those individuals.

Throughout the book the contributors consistently underscore a fundamental principle that ethical companies in all cultures must never lose sight of—to abstain from contributing in any way to the violation of basic individual rights.

Copyright 1999.