Business Ethics and Discourse Ethics: Germanic Roots with Intercultural Applications

  • Warren French
  • Stefan Kimmell
Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)


Business conflicts are not always centred on the quest for market share, competitive growth or return on investment. As we increasingly globalise our transactions, personal values and, especially, cultural values will be at the core of business conflict (Huntington 1993) . Is there a viable way to resolve moral conflicts resulting from business transactions which span nation state borders? Three options come to mind. The first is to adopt the adage: ”When in Rome do as the Romans do. ” But, this does not always sit well with social critics at home. The second option is a type of moral imperialism which centres on persuading the other party to succumb to your values. This option appears to underpin the Us’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Even when supported by an economic power base, moral imperialism, as pointed out by Claud Levi-Strauss (1988), has its pitfalls. The third option is grounded on rational argumentation and embodied in the theory on discourse ethics . Discourse ethics as proposed by Lorenzen (1987) and (Habermas 1990) has possibilities, but does the theory travel well when it leaves the Frankfurt-Erlangen region of Germany?


Business Ethic Moral Reasoning Moral Issue Discourse Ethic Moral Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

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  • Warren French
  • Stefan Kimmell

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