Business Ethics Across Cultures

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Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review

The cultural differences with each individual international company begins with the business ethics or the ethical perspective of the company.  A huge barrier is language.  One must always consider the language barrier when dealing with international business ethics.   Business have developed an international code of ethics that have become a standard worldwide no matter what country or cultural that a company is dealing with.  This has helped businesses to make sure that every employee is following is following the same code of ethics and to keep the companies running ethically. Brazil and China are two countries that have had many articles written about their ethical perspectives.  An overview of the differences between American and Brazilian MBA graduate students ethical differences was included in these articles.

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China believes that the key component in business dealings is communication, according to the article concerning the ethical perspectives of Brazil and China. Companies, both domestic and international employees must use communication with the completion of any business deal or transaction.  The Chinese base their ethical teachings off of Confuses.  This is one thing that sets them apart from other countries.  Confucius was a well-known educator, thinker and a political figure.  The foundation of the Chinese teachings have derived from him.  The way they Chinese perceive their education, and direction on the way one should live their life all come from the teachings of Confucius.  Confucius also gave the Chinese a recommendation on what form of government they should participate in and how they should interact with others on a daily basis.

In Brazil they base their business ethics on utilitarianism.  This is sometimes known as collectivism.  In Brazil the moral value system is one of the national culture.  It is expected that a person or business will base its ethical decision making on an option that will be of a great benefit to their country and to the people within Brazil. Brazilian business professionals, when participating in a group discussion, will base their decision on what they think will benefit the group as a whole. Overlooking of unethical behaviors if it benefits its citizens is ok in Brazil.  In the US, America values achievement and they pride themselves on the success of individuals.  They look at it at as strong suit for the country.  An interesting fact that from the article was that Kellogg Coco Pops Cercal conformed their box labels to the Confucian ethics in a strategy to attract more Chinese customers.  This strategy was a successful one to say the least.

To monitor dealings with these countries, one would have to do the following. It is evident from these articles that before partaking in any forging trade or business transactions it is necessary that business understand the business ethics and national cultural of the countries that they are going to be doing business with.  By doing this a business can avoid any ethical challenges that may occur within these dealings.  In China, Confucius teachings are the base of their economic decisions. While in Brazil their decisions are based on what is best for the country and the people of the country.  When doing business dealings with these two countries an ethic standard needs to be developed to avoid any conflict due to the ethic differences.


  1. Beekun, R., Stedham, Y., & Yamamura, J. (2003). Business ethics in Brazil and the U.S.: A comparative investigation. Retrieved on March 14, 2016, from
  2. Dragga, S. (1999). Ethical intercultural technical communication: Looking through the lens of Confucian ethics. Technical Communication Quarterly, Fall99, Vol. 8(4), 365-381. Retrieved on March 14, 2016, from EBSCOhost database.
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Business Ethics Across Cultures. (2019, Jul 11). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from

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