This article analyzes the attitudes of United States business professionals toward the issue of international bribery, and in particular, whether or not having a written code of ethics has an effect on these attitudes. A vignette relating to international bribery from a widely used survey instrument was employed in a nationwide survey of business professionals to gather information on ethical attitudes of respondents. Data were also collected on gender of respondents, whether or not respondents were self-employed, whether or not the (...) respondents' firms had a written code of ethics, and to what extent the respondents' firms generated revenues from international operations. Attitudes concerning whether or not international bribery is ever acceptable exhibited wide dispersion. Respondents from firms that have a written code of ethics were significantly less likely to find international bribery acceptable. Firms that generate revenues from international operations were significantly more likely to have a written code of ethics than were firms which did not generate revenues from international operations. Implications of the findings for business policy are discussed. (shrink)
This article compares the ethical attitudes of Ukrainian business professionals with those of United States business professionals. A widely used survey instrument consisting of 16 hypothetical situations involving ethical dilemmas was employed to gather information on ethical attitudes in the two countries. On 13 of 16 vignettes, Ukrainian respondents demonstrated less stringent ethical attitudes than did their United States counterparts. Possible reasons for these differences are discussed, with primary emphasis on the transition from one economic system to another that is (...) underway in Ukraine. Comments from Ukrainian respondents are presented so as to give an indication of the thought processes behind the questionnaire responses. (shrink)
This paper reports on the results from two studies that were conducted eight years apart with different respondents. The studies examined the role of the Mere Exposure Effect on ethical tolerance or acceptability of particular business decisions. The results from Study 1 show there is a significant difference in ethical judgment for 12 out of 16 vignettes between those who have been exposed to such situations compared to those who have not been exposed to them. In those 12 situations, those (...) who have been exposed to such situations adopted a more tolerant stance toward the ethically questionable behavior. The results from Study 2 show there is a significant difference in ethical judgment for 9 out of 16 vignettes between those who have been exposed to such situations compared to those who have not been exposed to them. Again, in those nine situations, those who have been exposed to such situations adopted a more tolerant stance toward the ethically questionable behavior. Interestingly, the 9 situations in Study 2 were 9 of the 12 situations found to be significant in Study 1, and in the same direction, suggesting that we have found consistency in our findings and support for the Mere Exposure Effect. Implications are provided for both higher education and practitioners. (shrink)
Research on the relationship between religious commitment and business ethics has produced widely varying results and made the impact of such commitment unclear. This study presents an empirical investigation based on a questionnaire survey of business managers and professionals in the United States yielding a database of 1234 respondents. Respondents evaluated the ethical acceptability of 16 business decisions. Findings varied with the way in which the religion variable was measured. Little relationship between religious commitment and ethical judgment was found when (...) responses were compared on the basis of broad faith categories – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, other religions, and no religion. However, respondents who indicated that religious interests were of high or moderate importance to them demonstrated a higher level of ethical judgment (less accepting of unethical decisions) than others in their evaluations. Evangelical Christians also showed a higher level of ethical judgment. (shrink)
This article reports the findings of a survey examining if there are gender and career stage differences between male and female practitioners regarding ethical judgment. The results show that, on average, females adopted a more strict ethical stance than their male counterparts on 7 out of 19 vignettes. Males on the other hand, demonstrated a more ethical stance than their female counterparts on 2 out of 19 vignettes. The results furthermore indicate there is a significant difference in ethical judgment across (...) career stages. Overall, it appears that practitioners in later career stages display higher ethical judgment than practitoners in lower career stages. Implications are provided for both practitioners and academicians. (shrink)
Restrictions upon international bribery by U.S. business firms, as incorporated in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, have been controversial since this legislation was passed in 1977. Despite many attempts to repeal or change the law, it remains as originally enacted.This article reports on a survey of U.S. business professionals concerning international bribery. Response to our survey reveals a divided business community in terms of their opinions on the ethics of international payments prohibited by the present law.
A questionnaire on business ethics was administered to business professionals and to upper-class business ethics students. On eight of the seventeen situations involving ethical dilemmas in business, students were significantly more willing to engage in questionable behavior than were their professional counterparts. Apparently, many students were willing to do whatever was necessary to further their own interests, with little or no regard for fundamental moral principles. Many students and professionals functioned within Lawrence Kohlberg's stage four of moral reasoning, the law (...) and order stage. Individualism and egoism remain strong patterns in the moral reasoning of many professionals, but they influence moral reasoning patterns among students to a much greater degree. (shrink)