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Ethical Challenges in European Cultures


Ethical Challenges in European Cultures Thomas Edison State College

2. “Attitudes are an important cultural aspect in an organization where members display certain beliefs that tell others where they belong” (p. etc. it could be prizes won in challenges or the pioneer products of a company. “Culture is the way of live of a particular society. everyday events such as Christmas. ceremonies and celebrations could be a cultural element where these actions are performed repeatedly in specific situations and hold specific meanings such as promotions and retirements. 1). and institutions. and there could be stories told about them. religion. dressing codes. which represent a society’s cultural values and norms such as buildings. or an officer who did a heroic act. culture is an important factor to consider. and systems of belief” (p. 3). Culture of a society can be looked at as constituting four elements.Ethical Challenges in European Cultures 1. These are values. Values consists of thoughts about the important things in life as seen by a society. a national flag. The language used in the European culture is .0 Business and Economic Implications of Differences in Culture and Values In understanding the actions of business organizations in Europe or elsewhere in the world. In a business organization. An organization could also have heroes in its culture. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board (2002) says. norms. In a business organization. which have special meanings. artifacts. 2 rituals. language.0 Introduction According to Dafoulas & Macaulay (2001). monuments. norms on the other hand are expectations of behavior of people in different circumstances. Cultural institutions are organizations of the society through which norms and values are handed on while artifacts are the physical things or materials. which are passed on from one generation to the next through learning as Dafoulas & Macaulay continues to say. which are used as epitomes and idealized so the members can learn from them such as founders of an organization. It constitutes things like sets of rules on manners. norms.

In western culture again such relationships are easy to form. where being on time and starting and ending on time is important while in eastern cultures appointments are focused more on the purpose rather than time (Hill. 3. In Asian cultures such as Japan. 2008. Hill (2008). In western culture mostly among Americans and most Europeans. business transactions do not occur until a firm relationship is formed and written agreements are less important. p. The American and British soldiers were planning for the famous D-day in the WWII where the British wanted the issue to be talked right then and used the phrase “table it” which the American soldiers understood it to mean to postpone until later. 2008). According to C. Additionally. business meetings are based on time.Ethical Challenges in European Cultures one element that has an impact on all business adventures. short termed and express a lot of importance to written agreement rather than relationships. in western cultures.0 Compare and Contrast differences in Social Culture influence Values in the Work Place . This is different compared to most Asian societies who find it hard to say no verbally even when the answer is no and their disagreement is expressed nonverbally. Cultural values also affect the nature of business relationships that are likely to occur. it can still bring 3 misunderstanding as illustrated in the story by Watson Churchill (Hill. 7). They also last long. W.38). “Another aspect is cultural values of different societies which has implications on business etiquette are expressions of agreement and disagreement which are different among different societies” (p. Even people who use the same language such as English among the Americans and the British. a lot of argument follows disagreements with participants willing to express this verbally.

. p. This brings problems in communication and interactions in the workplace (Dafoulas & Macaulay. This can also bring about the problem of biases and stereotyping among co-workers. and managers. & Cheng. This can result in resentment and lack of effective communication. women are seen as subordinates to men where they should not speak or look at a man directly in the eyes. 14).Ethical Challenges in European Cultures Social culture refers to the ordering of social relationships between people in a society according to (Ralston. Terpstra. which in turn affects productivity. This can bring complications in effective communication in the workplace. the difference in the cultural roles and status of people in the work place can also be a negative thing. a lot of enthusiasm and motivation is seen. 2008. When this is brought to an organization. 3. Different social cultural aspects in an organization also gives it an international or global look which is good especially for those tied to the global economy or serving a varied customer base (Ralston et al. 3. Example is where in some cultures disagreements are not voiced verbally but expressed in actions such as silence. Differences in social culture of members of an organization can influence workplace values either negatively or positively.1 Positive Influences 4 Differences in social culture add enthusiasm to the workplace. p. Further. Holt. 2001. Some cultures value hard work and their members are trained to go about their work with dedication and respect. 7). supervisors. In some cultures. 2008.2 Negative Influences Different cultural values and language barriers can bring misunderstandings in communication in the work place. 10). p.

p. what it would feel if they were on the other parties shoes. & Elibol. 2004. It is characterized element such as values. and whether they are proud of the decision or action they are taking. heroes and institutions. artifacts. These in many cases tend to be ambiguous and contradictory to the home one such as paying an official in a foreign country to get police protection. The first ethical dilemma a project manager in international business may face regards local laws and customs that are different from home ones as Yucel and colleagues points out in his article. Managers can also use the five question criteria or matrix outlined by Navran (2004) by asking themselves whether it is legal. it is important for the business managers to put their dealings within the right ethical and legal framework. p.0 Summary/Conclusion Culture is the way of life of a society. The US has the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-FCPA for international businesses. Example of such law is the mandatory drug testing in USA for employees of a company and is not allowed in countries like Canada (Navran. 5 employees. 6. Culture has implications on the business organization in terms . 6). 5.Ethical Challenges in European Cultures 4.0 What Managers can do to incorporate ethical considerations into their decisionmaking When faced with ethical dilemmas. 2009. attitudes. whether the action or decision fair both in long term and short term. This may be seen at home. It consists of how an organization deals with its customers.0 Ethical issues and ethical dilemmas faced by International Businesses Business ethics are moral principles or philosophies that guide an organization in its conduct in its day-to-day activities. whether any laws will be violated. 10). as bribery while it is understood as facilitating fee. Another dilemma may be in laws existing in the foreign country that are unacceptable at home. and co-workers and the business practices it carries out (Yucel. which guides organizations conduct in foreign countries. Dagdelen.

which can bring misunderstanding and the cultural values that have 6 implications on business etiquette. .Ethical Challenges in European Cultures of the language used. International business faces many ethical dilemmas such as contradictory legal framework. which managers have to deal with. Social culture on the other hand has positive such as a global outlook of an organization and negative influences on the workplace values such as stereotypes and biases among co-workers.

ethics. 2010.. Navran. (2009). & Macaulay. and China. Y.. H. & Elibol. Dafoulas. The Impact of National Culture and Economic Ideology on Managerial Work Values: A Study of the 7 United States. R. Hill. March 15). 1-14. Global Business Today. Holt. & Cheng. Investigating Cultural Differences i Virtual Softwa O. A. The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries . Russis. McGraw-Hill Irwin. (2002).. R. C. F. L. Cultural and Language Barriers in the Workplace. (2001). Dagdelen.. W. H. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board. (2008). (2008). Journal of International Business Studies . Resources. J.. Terpstra. Globalisation and International Marketing Ethics Problems. Ralston. G. H.Ethical Challenges in European Cultures References Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board. Yucel. 8-26. K. (2004. Retrieved September 25. from Ethics Resource Center: http://www. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics . D. 93-105. .. Japan. D.