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Do the Right Thing

Business ethics aren't the same everywhere, so stay on the right side of the law.

This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Are absolute or are they contextual? How you answer that question is key, particularly if you work internationally. Western societies, grounded in the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato, are most likely to say absolute. Their Asian counterparts, however, generally say that determining what is ethical depends on the situation. This dichotomy means international associates may violate your company's code of ethics or even the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act without realizing anything is amiss.

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