Integrated Social Contract Theory (ISCT), hyper norms, rules of procedure, authentic norms, legitimate norms, relativism, universalism


In this comparative study will be shown that especially the ethical problem of bribery and child-labor in German and Indian business relations could be very complex. Especially when a contractor is not directly involved into the production process of his Indian business partner ISCT delivers a tool that makes the complexity of the ethical decision finding more transparent and reveals that ethical decision making is not always unequivocal. The Integrative Social Contracts Theory (ISCT) by Donaldson and Dunfee is arguably the most promising framework capable of providing concrete ethical guidance for managers in business operations currently available. It bases on the classical concepts of social contract thinking and interconnects normative and empirical approaches of business ethics. ISCT is identified as a pluralistic business ethics methodology, since it avoids both cultural relativism and universalism: On the one hand, it takes into account different communities with their culturally specific norms and standards, and on the other hand, it suggests that there exist some transcultural, universal norms which are superior to local norms.

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