The Relationship between Business Ethics and Culture


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Culture has a significant impact on ethics and their application in a business environment. It can be argued that culture and ethics are inseparable because ethical standards have been established over time and make sense to people who share the same background, language, and customs. Business operates within at least two cultures: its organizational culture and the wider culture in which it was founded. When a business tries to establish itself in a new environment, a third culture comes into play. With increasingly diverse domestic and global markets and the spread of consumerism, companies must consider the ethical implications of outsourcing production and resist the temptation to ignore their values when faced with challenges in overseas supply or distribution chains.

Ethics is not a static concept and changes with each new era, often driven by technology. This can be observed by tracing the evolution of ethical practices from the age of mercantilism to the Industrial Revolution, the postindustrial era, and the Information Age. Recent successful efforts to advance ethical practices have been influenced by external factors such as government regulation and consumer pressure, rather than solely by industry.