Title: Hypernorms pull ahead: a conceptual framework of social media's impact on the integrative social contracts theory

Authors: Russell J. Zwanka

Addresses: Siena College, 515 Loudon Road, Albany, New York 12211, USA

Abstract: This paper reviews the potential impact of social media on Donaldson and Dunfee's integrative social contracts theory (ISCT), and the necessity of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy and code of ethics in a global business setting. The conceptual framework is formed through an academic review of each of these four concepts: ISCT, CSR, codes of ethics, and social media communication. The idea is that hypernorms, those 'universal truths' in the ISCT, are becoming the leading variable in business ethical decision making; whilst cultural relativism is becoming less relevant, because of the rise of social media communication. The paper includes implications for the development of a global ethical decision-making process, including a theory that social media may have caused a need for a change in the ISCT decision-making process. The study proposes that communication changes have led to a transparency, which could potentially render cultural relativism less impactful.

Keywords: social media; integrative social contracts theory; ISCT; corporate social responsibility; CSR; code of ethics; hypernorms; universal truths; ethical decision making; cultural relativism; global business framework; global business; globalisation; morals and values.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2018.088666

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2018 Vol.20 No.1, pp.84 - 95

Received: 13 Aug 2016
Accepted: 16 Aug 2016

Published online: 05 Dec 2017 *

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