International ethical dilemmas confronting Australian managers: Implications for the training and development of employees working overseas
Globalisation has seen diverse cultures becoming increasingly entwined and interdependent as business organisations operate in a borderless world. When organisations operate internationally they often find that countries differ in what is considered wrong or right. The objectives of the research were to identify cross-cultural ethical dilemmas confronting Australian managers, and explore the strategies they utilise in dealing with those dilemmas in their international operations. The study raises the questions of whose ethics should be applied, and whether a set of universal ethical norms should be or can be developed. The discussion emanating from such questions also raises important issues for the training and ongoing management of employees undertaking business in the international environment. A total of 70 Australian managers from the mining, textile and information technology industries participated in this research, representing a cross-section of Australian industry groups from the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors undertaking business in the international arena. The research utilised a conceptual framework that emerged from the moral philosophies represented in the international business arena Thr research utilised a conceptual framework that emerged from the moral philosophies represented in the international business arena, namely ethical relativism (Bowie 1996; Kohls & Buller 1994; Bowie & Duska 1990; Dobson 1990) imperialism (Gopalkrishnan 2001; Donaldson 1996b; De George 1993) and universalism (Beauchamp & Bowie 2001; Donaldson 1996b).
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