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Mapping Moral Philosophies: Strategic Implications for Multinational Firms

Christopher J. Robertson and William F. Crittenden
Strategic Management Journal
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Apr., 2003), pp. 385-392
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20060539
Page Count: 8
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Mapping Moral Philosophies: Strategic Implications for Multinational Firms
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Abstract

Strategic managers appear increasingly under pressure from stakeholder concerns regarding social and ethical issues. Partially in response, the supply of ethical decision-making models has grown rapidly. Business ethics scholars have broadened their scope to incorporate moral philosophies into their research endeavors. Despite these positive trends, the international focus of business ethics research has been slow to evolve. Yet, diverse moral philosophies, often most apparent across international borders, have important strategic implications for multinational firms. The ethical norms pursued by cross-cultural alliance partners, distributors, suppliers, customers, financiers, and foreign government agencies can create public relations disasters, foster shareholder unrest, lead to consumer boycotts, and impact organizational outcomes. We seek to rectify the deficiency in international business ethics scholarship with two distinct contributions. First, we develop a new cross-cultural, macro-level model of societal ethics. Second, we map moral philosophies onto an established framework for assessing socioeconomic environments. These theoretical tools should assist managers of multinational organizations, international policy-makers, and researchers to recognize and prepare for the ethical consequences of international strategic decisions.

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