Technology: The missing factor in understanding the relationship between culture and business ethics

Peter Davies


This paper summarises and evaluates five theoretical approaches to Business Ethics and identifies their common themes. However, it is contended that none of them give due weight to the influence of globalising developments in technology. A brief examination of the literature of ‘Philosophy of Technology’, with particular reference to the work of Jacques Ellul, reveals important lessons for setting limits to technology in differing cultures. In this respect cultural and religious traditions are a vital means to humanising technology and its associated and industrial practises, particularly in relation to the local context. This counterbalances the unhealthy degree of laissez-faire technological determinism found in Western and other industrialised cultures.