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Philosophy Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

Unit 1 Journal Entry
In recent years, corruption and bribery become a controversial issue worldwide. Some countries including the U.S. and China have specific laws to resist these conducts, but some countries like Somalia consider corruption and bribery as a tool of doing business. This difference between countries is due to the deeply cultural distinction.
After reading chapter five on ethical values, it brings me a good argument about the definitions of morality and ethics. According to the textbook, ethical relativism and ethical objectivism are two different principles (Lawhead, 2010). Ethical relativism states that the human option decides a person's standpoints to judge if a conduct ...view middle of the document...

In most Asian countries, doing business is based on building relationships. Before the negotiation, two parties would like to know the representative's personal hobbies first. During the negotiation, they will have the conversation that is not relevant to the business. Mostly the negotiation takes a long time without a result, because Asian people are willing to have a trustful and long-run friendship with partners. Thus, bribery is a good tool to build such a relationship in the short time. People have bribed since the ancient period so that it becomes a social norm when doing business. It makes sense that bribery and corruption are not considered as unethical or immoral. However, in the U.S., there is not a social norm existed to conduct bribery or corruption and those conducts are not fair to other businessmen who do not conduct bribery and corruption. Moreover, from the economic standpoint, bribing the government official will result in low efficiencies and low standard of livings for the taxpayers. Therefore, FCPA is created and promoted to prohibit the bribery and corruption that are considered as unethical and immoral.
A recent case on Albert "Jack" Stanley in Nigeria is a good example of ethical relativism issue. In order to stimulate economic growth in Nigeria, the central government created Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas and formed the joint venture with Dresser Industries, Inc. of the U.S. and JGC Corp. of Japan (together, TSKJ) (Goldberg, 2012). As a CEO in the program, Albert Stanley had been tapped since 1998 about $7.3 million dollars. In 2002, an accusation uncovered those illegal conducts and Stanley was arrested at the same time (2012).
This event provides a good example on the ethical relativism and cultural difference. Because Nigeria is a developing country, its poverty and illiteracy keep at a high level. Doing business in Nigeria faces many difficulties including unreliable electricity supply, water shortages, and complex regulations for foreign investments (2012). Moreover, Nigeria has a culture of corruption. It consistently ranked at the top level of the list of most corrupt countries in the world from 1997 to 2005 (2012). Therefore, in such an environment, Albert Stanley just follows the local culture. As the saying goes "Doing what Roman does when in Rome". Hence, from Nigeria's viewpoint, Stanley is not necessarily unethical or immoral. However, from American's viewpoint, it does not only violate the FCPA, but also is unethical and immoral. Consequently,...

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