Journal of Business Ethics 18 (1):91 - 105 (1999)

As more and more firms operate globally, an understanding of the effects of cultural differences on ethical decision making becomes increasingly important for avoiding potential business pitfalls and for designing effective international marketing management programs. Although several articles have addressed this area in general, differences along specific, cultural dimensions have not been directly examined. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in ethical decision making within Hofstede's cultural framework. The results confirm the utility of Hofstede's cultural dimensions and place ethical decision making within an overall theoretical framework. Sales agents from a high power distance, uncertainty avoidant, Confucian, collectivist culture (i.e., Taiwan) placed more value on company and fellow employee interests (vis-à-vis self interests) than did managers from a masculine, individualistic culture (i.e., the United States). American and Taiwanese managers did not differ in their deontological norms or on the importance that they placed on customer interests. The theoretical and managerial importance of these findings are also discussed.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006038012256
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