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International management - Ethics - Moral relativism vs moral universalism - Essay Example

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Running Head: Business Google’s Moral Compromise in China: A Struggle between Universalism and Relativism A Case Analysis Name Name of Professor Introduction The issue of moral relativism versus moral universalism involves a philosophical premise, regarding the universality of ideas, not of values…
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International management - Ethics - Moral relativism vs moral universalism
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Download file to see previous pages This analysis starts with a brief description of the debate between moral relativism and moral universalism. The second section presents an analysis of the case, which is Google in China, in terms of its connection to the ethics debate. Particularly, the analysis tries to determine whether China’s Internet censorship approach is universalistic or relativistic, and, more importantly, whether Google’s response to the impenetrability of China’s culture and ideals reflects a universalistic or relativistic model of morality. Overview of the Moral Relativism and Moral Universalism Debate Moral relativism is the view that moral standards are particular or distinct to culture and personal judgments. It argues that a universal moral standard does not exist. On the other hand, moral universalism argues that morality is valid universally, irrespective of gender, race, religion, culture, nationality, or other unique attributes; in the debate, Universalists claim that morality have been concretely delineated in different international agreements and declarations whereas relativists relate to distinct cultural viewpoints (McDonald, 2010). The various morality theories are generated by various view of morality. These theories have built divisions and barriers in human society. The influence of these moral views on people’s lives is considerable. It affects the moral attitude and behavior of individuals. Hence, there are dilemmas of ethical conflicts and double moral standards. Individuals are not certain of the form of morality they should conform to, either moral universalism or moral relativism. This predicament is continuously experienced by Google in their operation in China. Moral relativism, in business, usually becomes traditional morality and unethical decisions are usually defended on the theory of ‘commonly accepted practice’ (McDonald, 2010, 451). A number of scholars in international business have been distrustful of circumstances where moral relativism has been employed as a kind of ‘moral sanctuary’ (McDonald, 2010, 451). For instance, companies may have carried out a decision which generally would be viewed as unethical but have asserted that the decision is ethical, or reasonable, since it falls within a particular cluster of moral norms promoted by the society where in they are in service. In reaction to this argument, which basically reinforces the arguments that deeds are impervious to common moral standards because they originate from a particular set of standards or codes that surpass general norms, Roberts (1986 as cited in McDonald, 2010) has argued that, because of the intricacies of international business, there is a certain extent of excuse for companies demanding immunity from moral censure by sheltering behind premises of moral relativism, particularly because of their need to make room for diverse cultural situations. Unsurprisingly, this argument is controversial. It may be appealing to refuse to believe that there are universal principles that can provide direction to those whose trade has to be carried out on a global arena. Maybe, multinational business firms should recognize and applaud relativism as a principle and proclaim itself in support of an ethic of conduct that is situational, domestic, and local. The strength of relativism in international ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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