Cultural Crossvergence and Social Desirability Bias: Ethical Evaluations by Chinese and Canadian Business Students

Journal of Business Ethics 85 (4):527-543 (2009)

The purpose of this study is to determine whether there are cross-cultural differences between Chinese and Canadian business students with respect to their assessment of the ethicality of various business behaviors. Using a sample of 147 business students, the results indicate cultural crossvergence; the Chinese (72 students) and Canadians (75 students) exhibit different ethical attitudes toward questionable business practices at the individual level but not at the corporate level. A social desirability bias (a tendency to deny socially unacceptable actions and to admit to socially desirable ones) is also found to be a cross-cultural phenomenon, with the Canadians demonstrating a greater bias than the Chinese. Finally, this bias causes respondents to increase their assessment of the un-ethicality of questionable business activities.
Keywords business ethics  culture  students  international business
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-008-9787-z
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Ahoy There!Michael Santoro - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (3):481-502.

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