Theories and Evidence about Organizational Responsibility
Chapter 6: Cultural Diversity and CSR: An Empirical Study About the Acceptance of CSR Policies Across Europe
Introduction Globalization of the economy and internationalization of organizations are of major importance for business ethics. That holds for the position of organizations in the context of a global economy, on the one hand (Scherer and Palazzo, 2007), as well as for internal cultural diversity in multinational enterprises (MNEs), on the other. The interaction of different cultures within organizations implies internal diversity of habits, customs, attitudes and practices. Cross-cultural differences are compounded when the topic of business ethics is considered (Sims and Gegez, 2004). Business ethics as a managerial practice is a global phenomenon, even though it started as a Western concept. That is due to a number of reasons. First, the request for ethical standards is increasing worldwide, not the least under the influence of international organizations, such as GRI, the Global Reporting Initiative, that aims at developing international standards for conduct and reporting. Second, communication about actions and behaviour of organizations can be communicated quickly and efficiently worldwide and consumerist actions and sanctioning can possibly follow organizational misbehaviour concerning societal demands. Third, globally active organizations tend to develop and implement worldwide guidelines for responsibility and compliance (Tulder et al., 2008). However, despite the move to develop global ethics guidelines and social reporting guidelines, there is no strong consensus regarding appropriate action standards for MNEs. That is related to ethical differences across cultures (c.f. Buller et al., 2000). Work-related moral judgements differ per country, which implies different institutional pressures on organizations in different countries (Campbell, 2006), on the one...
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