Ethical practice in a multicultural society

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Colin Kaepernick comes to mind as I speak of racial differences, principles and morals. Colin Kaepernick, when he chose to go beyond the usual practice, effectively gave up his dream. Colin Kaepernick, the American football player who started the National Anthem “take knee” campaign against racial violence against African American and other races. Business ethics is the study of what constitutes right or wrong, good or bad human conduct in a business environment. The introduction of universal ethical principles to particular practical problems in the modern environment, such as dishonesty in ads, bullying, etc., is intended to assess what is “valid” behavior; i.e. what is considered appropriate or “right” conduct in line with universal ethical values (Christie et al, 2003).

I served with a social-service organization in 2013. Within this unique setting, I have been forced to interact alongside a variety of communities and faiths. Each of the SNAP entitlements (Food stamps) is dependent on family revenue and wealth. There was, however, a misconception and theory circulated inside the department that African American culture is lazy and that many of them do not want to function and want to rely on the government for assistance. I know that the theory and the story arose from the deep-rooted fear of the Slavery. Under which racial violence persists and so other groups are still competing and killing each other.

At another agency I worked for I worked with youth directly in a foster care setting. I am African American, and the rest of the children I represent are Hispanic / Latino. I note that when I’m out in the city with my Hispanic / Latino clientele, I typically get a number of stares from various cultures. One of my four-year-old children sometimes holds a temper tantrum to get what she needs from her mother. She decided to have one of these tantrums with me when we were in the grocery shop. I dismissed her actions, and there was a Hispanic lady who came up to me with a really unpleasant attitude, telling me to know what I was doing to the girl. I dismissed her and proceeded to focus on the actions of my client. I assume that she just got embroiled in this scenario because I mistreated this Hispanic child in her opinion, even though I gave her my badge for work. Anything I did with the child was in compliance with the Agency’s rules and practices, even when I was being confronted by a consumer in the shop. It’s really difficult to deal with babies, youth and even the elderly, so you also have to make sure that you perform it according to policies and procedures. Mandatory ethics was enforced to safeguard the employees who work for the specific organization and even the clients. Professionals are required to recognize and live by their Code of Ethics. Practitioners will need to demonstrate awareness regarding the adaptation of their codes to different cultures (Weber 20004).


Blanding, M. (2013, December 9). How Cultural Conflict Undermines Workplace Creativity [Web page]. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Christie, P., Kwon, I., Stoeberl, P., & Baumhart, R. (2003, September). A cross-cultural comparison of ethical attitudes of business managers: India, Korea and the United States. Journal of Business Ethics, 46(3), 263-287.

Weber, Z. (2004). Working towards culturally sensitive ethical practice in a multicultural society. Journal of Practice Teaching 5(3), 40-54. Retrieved from

Yoo, J., Brown, J., & Chung, A. (2018). Collaborative Touchdown with #Kaepernick and #BLM: Sentiment Analysis of Tweets Expressing Colin Kaepernick’s Refusal to Stand during the National Anthem and Its Association with #BLM. Journal of Sports Media 13(2), 39-60. doi:10.1353/jsm.2018.0008.




2 discussion

Cultural Diversity

There a number of ethical conflicts within my workplace. More specifically, ethical policies or regulations that more or less go against what is in the best interest of the employees working under me. I often find myself having to enforce rules or regulations I may not agree with, or that I do not believe is creating the best outcome for either the person or the situation. This is an issue that happens across many professions, “Many practitioners are challenged by cultural diversity daily. Practicing from a culturally sensitive ethical perspective in a multicultural society is essential for good practice” (Weber, 2004, page 40). Consider a doctor who’s personal values may be against abortion, however–he/she will most likely have clients who go through/consider this option, and they need to be understanding and open to their client’s rights, regardless of their own personal values regarding the subject.

In my workplace, one specific ethical conflict I encounter fairly regularly is around the attendance policy. I am expected to have my employees here 100% of their scheduled shifts unless they pre-plan time off. In the event of sickness or emergency, employees are expected to have enough paid time off to cover any potential missed time outside of what is pre-planned. I have one employee in particular who has a child that is struggling with severe health issues, and he misses a surplus of work. Although I understand the necessity of having employees at work, it is difficult to hold someone accountable to missing work when your inner values are telling you to be compassionate to their outside-of-work situation. However, to maintain the code of my position–I must maintain regular consequential action around missed time that is not covered (even though I feel terrible for what he is going through outside of work).

Another ethical conflict that my employees often run into is the expectation to offer even to customers who are struggling with finances. Within this industry, sales are a large profit driver and it is a heavy expectation to make an offer on every call. When a customer is calling in regarding being behind on bills, it can be against moral values to offer for that customer to take on more payments and create bigger bills. However, it is still an expectation and something all people must do in order to meet job expectations–regardless of personal feelings towards the subject.



Weber, Z. (2004). Working towards culturally sensitive ethical practice in a multicultural society. Journal of Practice Teaching 5(3), 40-54. Retrieved from

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