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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 11, 2014

Marianne Marar Yacobian, Leslie E. Sekerka
Pages 157-178
DOI: 10.5840/jbee2014118

Business Ethics and Intercultural Management Education: A Consideration of the Middle Eastern Perspective

Multinational corporations (MNCs) have brought attention to the challenges of business ethics in intercultural settings. A lack of understanding regarding cultural pluralism in business ethics education has motivated some scholars to consider a broader lens, one that recognizes the influence of religion (Spalding and Franks 2012). Management awareness of the similarities and differences that stem from deeply held beliefs is essential, as unstated thoughts and feelings can influence starting assumptions, even before ethical decision-making processes begin. If deeply entrenched cultural traditions and religious values remain implicit and/or misunderstood, collaborative efforts may be derailed due to an inadvertent lack of respect and understanding. Because many Westerners remain unfamiliar with Muslim-based beliefs, the authors advance business ethics education by offering an overview of business practices in the Middle East. A model and exercise are presented as tools to promote awareness of cultural perspectives. This platform for understanding will help adult learners see how their personal origins can shape and influence management thought.