Globalisation and its effect on Individuals/Humanity

Topics: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Morality Pages: 5 (1645 words) Published: August 27, 2014

Globalisation is good for individuals but bad for humanity.

While Globalisation may have many beneficial traits that have improved economical, social and political aspects of life here on Earth, I believe it still remains a detrimental operating method when applied to humanity as a whole. Globalisation itself is rife with international exploitation and promotes unfair practice in many ways. The term globalisation refers to a modern phenomenon based on the connection of nations, cultures or businesses, often through economic activity (Archibugi & Iammarino 2002). Specifically it refers to these groups becoming interdependent with one another on a global scale and therefore having more of a potential impact when decisions or actions are carried out (Crane & Matten 2007). Much can be said to refute or support the statement that globalisation is bad for humanity and beneficial to individuals but a lot of the ethical theories concerning this topic do seem to support the claim. It is important to acknowledge that humanity can suffer through the impact of globalisation because if we don’t things will become worse for the planet as a whole and leave only certain individuals to benefit.

It is well known that globalisation is the cause of many “ethical problems for the manager of the multinational corporation” (Velasquez 2000, p. 343). The way that they choose to react to this potential for injustice seems to be largely dependent on the ethical principles that can be applied to the situation. Ethical relativism is one theory that has perhaps been a contributor to the failings of globalisation in the business world and the multinational managers implementing this theory aren’t even fully responsible as this contemporary approach is one that has been approved since the early 1970’s (Velasquez 2000). Ethical relativism asks that to consider whether something is right or wrong one simply needs to apply the cultural norms of the society that the situation is taking place.

However having no universally acceptable moral standards has meant that when managers try to deal with internal problems involving workers from different cultural backgrounds, relativist theory wants them to simply apply the norms of the local culture. Valsquez (2000) asks us to consider how American and Muslim cultures approach sexual discrimination differently to one another. If the people of these cultures were to find themselves in the same work environment and an issue such as this had to be dealt with it would be considerably difficult to do so using ethical relativism. In terms of globalisation this would mean that while the business itself might not suffer the relations of the people in the work place and indeed of those two cultures would not be able to achieve any sort of mutual understanding and progress forward together.

Globalisation has long been accused of lengthening the gap between the well-off and more disadvantaged nations. A point often but forward is the noticeable expansion globalisation offers to the western world. Multinational corporations move into countries where there are no labor unions or where the business is largely privatised and then make economic decisions based on their own interests. This is the case in many capitalist economies where globalisation exists.

The ‘Marx’s theory of surplus value’ as discussed by Parker and Pearson (2005) emphasises this by pointing out “when a capitalist makes a profit, they are essentially stealing value which is produced by labour”. It is quite simple to realise that whilst globalisation like this does create jobs, it also takes away the potential for local production of goods to be made by workers at a fair price. This can create animosity and resentment between people who lose their job because their company decides to manufacture its product offshore and the workers who then take on these jobs for a fraction of the former employees wages.

It also encourages unhealthy...
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