Communication: Crossroad of Globalisation Title: Managing ethical issues in global business Dr G Napal Faculty of Law and Management University of Mauritius [email protected] Biography: Presently Senior Lecturer at the University of Mauritius; teaches ‘Business Ethics’ at undergraduate and postgraduate levels; Areas of research include ‘Business Ethics’ and ‘Corruption’ in the context of developing nations; Doctoral dissertation: ‘Modelling Business Ethics in the Developing World’. Publications include papers published in ‘Business Ethics: A European Review’; ‘International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management’; ‘Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organisational Studies’; Conference papers include papers presented at the Management Conference 2004, International Conference on Business and Information 2006, forthcoming Triple Helix Conference 2007. Abstract The common perception that business and ethics are not compatible somehow contributes to unethical modes of doing business on the global market. However, considering the costs associated with unethical business, the trend is slowly changing as executives recognise that business decisions impact on the goodwill of their organisation. The implications of unethical conduct in global business can no longer be overlooked if the intention is to protect one’s reputation. Unethical acts commonly encountered in business include bribery and ‘gifts’. Given the cultural differences that prevail across borders, there are divergences of opinion as to what constitutes bribery. For example, what is regarded as a token in one country can be termed as bribery in a different part of the world (Pacini et al., 2002). The climate of globalisation calls for vision, imagination, creativity and judgement (Johnson et al. 2006; Jones and English, 2004; Ratcliffe, 2006). After all, the cultivation of a moral business culture is a necessary condition if the business corporation is to preserve its reputation at international level and maintain good business relations (Rossouw, 1998). Ethical differences arise from divergences in culture across borders. The key to resolving such ethical issues that result from such divergences resides in good communication mechanisms. New demands associated with globalisation include a need for greater vision, quality communication and creativity. At a micro-level, training in ethics and communication should complement corporate codes of ethics. While business partners fulfil their responsibility towards their stakeholders, it is the duty of government to foster corporate social responsibility and sustain efforts towards the convergence of ethics by providing the necessary infrastructure at national level (Carson, 2003; Garofalo, 2003) and this includes putting in place appropriate communication devices. Such initiative would help maintain healthy business relations while sustaining competitive advantage and economic growth.