Ubuntu, ISCT (Integrative Social Contract Theory), hypernorms, authentic norms, ma-cro- and microsocial contract, communitarian


In recent years there has been growing interest in Ubuntu, a communitarian African phi-losophy based on virtues such as tolerance, reciprocity, compassion and harmony. Several authors have suggested theoretical ways in which it might be applied to the field of business management and business ethics. This paper tries to show, that applying the categories of business ethics as proposed by Donaldson/Dundee's Integrative Social Contract Theory (ISCT) to the communita-rian Ubuntu philosophy can provide a special approach to global business ethics. The paper clari-fies in which way Ubuntu values are particular to Africa and universal at the same time. It also shows that ‘harmony’ in the sense of Ubuntu demonstrates similarities with Japanese and Chinese managerial practices.

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