Business Ethics Homework

In an ethics training session run by Marines for business executives (Here is a link to the article:  “Executives Learn Ethics the Hard Way: From Marines”)  the students take part in an exercise in which they are in a foreign country, attempting to cooperate with the village leaders.  They are greeted by those leaders with open arms, and welcomed to the village, which is just preparing for a big celebration.  The American executives are to be honored guests.  It’s a wedding apparently, and everyone is very happy and excited about the event.  There’s only one problem:  the bride is tied up, and hysterical, begging to be rescued.  She breaks free at one point, and runs to the foreign guests, pleading for their help.  She wants no part of any wedding – or the event that typically follows.

As you will see in the article, the business executives eventually give the “bride” back to the village leaders.  She is dragged off into a tent, shrieking and weeping, and the executives and the rest of the “villagers” remain outside, fully able to overhear the violence taking place on the other side of the canvas.

What are the ethical issues? 

What values are in conflict here? 

Does ethical relativism trump your ethical standards?

Why – or why not?  How do you think you would have reacted?


Articles that can be used for references

Ethical relativism

Ethical Relativism and Business

Theory of Ethical Relativism (Criticism of the theory of ethical relativism)

Ethical Relativism discussion of points for and against theory

Rules, Standards, and Ethics: Relativism Predicts Cross-National Differences in the Codification of Moral Standards