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South America, business ethics in

Maria Cecilia Coutinhode Arruda


Business ethics in South America, as in many other countries, combine the positive (values, honesty, transparency, respect) and negative (corruption, fraud, bribery, inside information, human rights violations, lack of punishment). Because business ethics has been in the news all over the world for several years, business leaders from all South American countries (SACs) often ask for a specific definition of the term. There are clear rules and laws about correct and ethically sound business behavior, but few regions in these countries enforce compliance. Complicity and connivance in business are so common that in general the South American public profoundly distrusts business and government. Citizens, politicians, and business leaders seem to be confused by the concept of ethics and even more skeptical when this concept is related to business. Too often, public speeches and discussions of business ethics are more oratorical and superficial than they are serious and indicative of a strong commitment to moral values. Following the lead of many political and business leaders, and in the knowledge that many individuals from higher social classes go unpunished, many ordinary citizens of SACs justify unethical and even criminal behavior. In order to raise the ethical level of business policies and performance, the Center of Studies for Ethics in Organizations – Fundacao Getulio Vargas, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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