Article

Relativism, Multiculturalism, and Universal Norms: Their Role in Business Ethics

Tom L. Beauchamp

in The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195307955
Published online January 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195307955.003.0009

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Relativism, Multiculturalism, and Universal Norms: Their Role in Business Ethics

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This article examines the role and influence of relativism, multiculturalism, and universal norms in business ethics. It attempts to answer the question whether moral standards are merely personal opinions and cultural conventions or whether some moral standpoints transcend the personal and the cultural. It concludes that there is a universal common morality, but that it allows for moral disagreement and legitimate differences of opinion about how to render universal norms specific for business contexts. Thus, certain norms constrain corporate activities in all cultures while other norms constrain corporate conduct only in specific contexts.

Keywords: business ethics; relativism; multiculturalism; universal norms; moral standards; corporate conduct

Article.  15330 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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