Ethics and the gender equality dilemma for U.S. multinationals

Don Mayer, Anita Cava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

U.S. multinational enterprises must now follow the policies of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in their overseas operations, at least with respect to U.S. expatriate employees. Doing so in a culture which discourages gender equality in the workplace raises difficult issues, both practically and ethically. Vigorously importing U.S. attitudes toward gender-equality into a social culture such as Japan or Saudi Arabia may seem "ethnocentric," a version of "ethical imperialism." Yet adapting to host country norms risks a kind of "moral relativism." This article supports the view that MNEs which promote workplace equality in a host country such as Japan, which is actively involved in the international economic and political community, is not "ethical imperialism" in any pejorative sense and is preferable to a moral relativism or social contract approach. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain rights - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1993

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equality
relativism
moral philosophy
imperialism
gender
workplace
Japan
declaration of independence
international economics
Saudi Arabia
civil rights
happiness
overseas
UNO
human rights
act
employee
human being
community
Gender equality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

Cite this

Ethics and the gender equality dilemma for U.S. multinationals. / Mayer, Don; Cava, Anita.

In: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 12, No. 9, 01.09.1993, p. 701-708.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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