In your quest to conquer the global market, ethics should not be dismissed. Business ethics or your moral beliefs, the things which you believe to be right or wrong should be your guide to conduct practices which are not only beneficial to you as the owner but also to the public. In international negotiations, you may stray from the acceptable practices or norms because of cultural differences. You would need to realize that ethical differences and cultural influences are two different things. Ethics can be defined as the moral belief that influences your behavior, attitude and philosophy while cultural differences pertain to the protocol, religion, corporate language, and meal or gift customs.
You have to be aware that whichever country you want to expand your business to have a different culture than yours. Generally accepted business practices may be influenced by cultural background but what would and should set you apart is your business ethics. This is where your definition of what is right and what is wrong comes in. An example of this is when you export your products and services to let’s say, a developing country, you might be tempted to bribe the government just because everyone else seems to be doing so. This would mean that your ethical practices leave much to be desired. There should be no excuse for you to allow your business ethics to take second place in your list of priorities just because you are operating your business in a different part of the world. Once you decide to let other people or even cultural differences dictate the way you do your business, the only person you are fooling is yourself. Your business might survive for a few years but in the end, your reputation would be tarnished and your business would ultimately suffer.