Ethic universalism deals with implications from an activity applies to anybody within any situation. In business, organizations can use the universal approach when making ethical decisions, meaning if it seeks fairness and integrity for one person, it will do the same for everyone. “Universalism is one of the major ingredients in American cultural value, which influences the American perception into the world and the formulation of American foreign cultural, military and political policies” (Luo, 2010, p. 57). The bill of rights can is based of universalism because the first amendment allows freedom of speech from all races and religions and the fourth amendment states that no one can be searched or arrested by law without probable cause.
Relativism on the other hand, proclaims that the same truth cannot be spread across different groups of societies and cultures. For instance, corporations that have strong views on religion may manage their businesses differently. Chick-fil-a is a restaurant that is ran by a Christian ceo that has a policy which allows the restaurants to be closed on Sundays for people to worship God which is considered a universal approach. If every restaurant used that universal approach in business, there would be conflict because consumers like to enjoy eating fast food or sitting down in a restaurant on Sundays whether they go to church or not.
Since Chick-fil-a has strong beliefs with Christianity, the owner has spoken out against same sex marriages, which other people found offensive including colleagues and customers. While the owner demonstrated his freedom of speech which is based of universalism when he made that comment, he upset the gay community which caused backlash. restaurant that uses a relativism approach will avoid conflict with its colleagues and customers because they understand that spreading the same truth across genders and sexual preferences will affect how the way they make money.
Luo, J. (2010). Universalism in America: A religious perspective. Petroleum – Gas University of Ploiesti Bulletin, Educational Sciences Series, 62(1B), 57-65.
RESOURCES FOR DISCUSSION:
Gonzalez-Padron, T. (2015). Business ethics and social responsibility for managers [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
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