The relationship of ethical decision-making to business ethics and performance in taiwan

Journal of Business Ethics 35 (3):163 - 176 (2002)
Abstract
This paper examines the relationship of ethical decision-making by individuals to corporate business ethics and organizational performance of three groups: (i) SMEs (small and medium enterprises), (ii) Outstanding SMEs (the Key Stone Award winners) and (iii) Large Enterprises, in order to provide a reference for Taiwanese entrepreneurs to practice better business ethics. The survey method involved random sampling of 132 enterprises within three groups. Some 524 out of 1320 questionnaires were valid. The survey results demonstrated that ethical decision-making by individuals, corporate business ethics and organizational performance are highly related. In summary, then, high levels of organizational performance were directly attributable to high levels of applied corporate and individual ethics. Furthermore, there is a demonstrable tendency for Outstanding SMEs to reject ethically unsound practices such as padded expense accounts, tax evasion and misleading advertising. The measurement criteria used to assess organizational performance, however, did not include an objective evaluation of financial performance.
Keywords corporate business ethics  organizational performance  ethical decision-making by individuals  SMEs  Taiwanese entrepreneurs
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