Levinasian ethics and the representation of the other in international and cross-cultural management
Rhodes, C & Westwood, RI 2005, 'Levinasian ethics and the representation of the other in international and cross-cultural management', Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM 2005), Munich, Germany, 4-7 May, EURAM, Munich, Germany.
In this paper, we seek to further the discussion, problematization and critique of west/east identity relations in ICM studies by considering the ethics of the relationship – an issue never far beneath the surface in discussions of Orientalism. In particular we seek to both examine and question the ethics of representation in relation to a critique of what has come to be known as international and cross-cultural management (ICM). To pursue such a discussion, we draw specifically on the ethical elaborations of Emmanuel Levinas as well as his chief interlocutors Jacques Derrida and Zygmunt Bauman. The value of this discussion, we propose, is that Levinas offers a philosophy that holds as its central concept the relationship between the self and Other as the primary ethical and pre-ontological relation. Levinas’ philosophy provides a means of extending the post-colonial critique of ICM, and ICM provides a context in which the Levinasian ethics can be brought to bear on a significant issue on contemporary business and management.