Intercultural Management between Universalism and Relativism: Fundamental Problems in International Business Ethics and the Contribution of Recent German Philosophical Approaches

EUROPE IN THE GLOBAL COMPETITION, S. Urban, ed., pp. 77-143, Wiebaden, Gabler, 1997

57 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2010

See all articles by Horst Steinmann

Horst Steinmann

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the ethical challenges of Multinational Corporations operating in various cultures with different social expectations and ethical values. We analyse the various responses of political institutions, religious organizations, and business practice to this challenge. Next we review the contribution of management literature to the resolution of this problem. In particular, we analyse the Integrative Social Contracts Theory of Donaldson and Dunfee. We discuss the philosophical problems of universalism and relativism of ethical standards and develop a culturalist perspective based on the constructivist approach of recent German philosophy. Finally, we outline the implications for management research and practice.

Keywords: intercultural management, business ethics, philosophy

Suggested Citation

Steinmann, Horst and Scherer, Andreas Georg, Intercultural Management between Universalism and Relativism: Fundamental Problems in International Business Ethics and the Contribution of Recent German Philosophical Approaches (1997). EUROPE IN THE GLOBAL COMPETITION, S. Urban, ed., pp. 77-143, Wiebaden, Gabler, 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1553079

Horst Steinmann

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, DE Bavaria 91054
Germany

Andreas Georg Scherer (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

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