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Moral philosophy and managerial perceptions of ethics codes: Evidence from Peru and the United States

Christopher Robertson (Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Scott Geiger (University of South Florida St Petersburg, St Petersburg, Florida, USA)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of cultural differences on managerial attitudes about moral philosophies and ethics codes, accomplished through a sample of US and Peruvian managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Managerial attitudes about moral philosophies are assessed in Peru and the USA. Specifically, the cultural dimension individualism vs collectivism is integrated with the moral philosophies egoism and utilitarianism to serve as the theoretical foundation for the three hypotheses in this study. Hypotheses are tested using survey data from 187 Peruvian and 117 US managers.

Findings

The results suggest that important ethical differences exist between these two nations with respect to the impact of utilitarianism and egoism on the perceived benefits of ethics codes as deterrent mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited in the generalizability of results because data from only two countries are collected. Another limitation is the lack of control over the industry of respondents. Implications include the facilitation of a deeper understanding of cultural and moral differences between the USA and Peru.

Practical implications

One implication is that US managers can learn more about the collectivistic sentiment that underlies the Peruvian tendency to take a cost‐benefit, or utilitarian, approach when assessing moral scenarios. Also, the development of cross‐border codes of ethics and implementation of policies related to behavioral expectations of workers should also be considered in light of national differences in managerial attitudes about ethical philosophies.

Originality/value

There have been very few studies in which US and Peruvian managerial and moral values have been contrasted. This study sheds new light on two nations that have witnessed a surge in trade in the past decade.

Keywords

Citation

Robertson, C. and Geiger, S. (2011), "Moral philosophy and managerial perceptions of ethics codes: Evidence from Peru and the United States", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 351-365. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527601111152860

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited