Cultural Relativism and Whistleblowing

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 3 (861 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Explain using the ethics of cultural relativism the advantages and disadvantages of whistle blowing Cultural relativism is the principle regarding the beliefs, values, and practices of a culture from the viewpoint of that culture itself ( 2012). It is the concept that the importance of a particular cultural idea varies from one society or societal subgroup to another and that ethical and moral standards are relative to what a particular society or culture believes to be good or bad, right or wrong. In other words, “right” and “wrong” are culture-specific; what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in another, and, since no universal standard of morality exists, no one has the right to judge another society’s customs. According to Philosophy All (2012) the view that the varied moral or ethical systems are all equally valid is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil; so every judgment about right and wrong is a product of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person. Ultimately, this means that no moral or ethical system can be considered the “best,” or “worst,” and no particular moral or ethical position can actually be considered “right” or “wrong.” Cultural perspective therefore can help us understand why certain actions are considered right or wrong by a particular culture. The actions being referred to include the act of whistle blowing. Boatwright (2009: 90) defines the act whistle blowing as the release of information by a member or former member of an organisation that is evidence of illegal and/or immoral conduct in the organisation or conduct in the organisation that is not in the public interest. Nadler and Schulman (2006) assert that whistle blowing is intricately linked to ethics in that it represents a person’s understanding, at a deep level, that an action his or her organisation is taking is taking is harmful and...
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