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Unit summary

Although there is no universal definition of ethics, many modern organisations strike to be good corporate citizens who go beyond the legal requirements. However, in international/cross-cultural business situations, it can be difficult to determine what is and is not ethical because of the different values held in each organisation’s culture.

Laws and regulations do not cover all aspects of human interaction, thus managers often need to make decisions and resolve group conflicts using their skills and judgement. To successfully resolve conflicts, managers need good (and ethical) negotiation skills and an understanding of ethical principles, techniques and cultural influence.

Ethical philosophy and practice provide organisations with a competitive advantage, and proactively managing cultural issues is a significant ethical action with which organisations can earn a competitive advantage.