Given the strong religious background of India, it is quite surprising that the country is ranked as the most corrupt nation in the Asia Pacific region in 2017. This prompts the authors to investigate the role of religiosity in shaping an individual’s preference for ethical behavior. The purpose of this paper is to explore the conceptual linkage between religiosity and attitude towards business ethics (ATBE) and also assess the role of gender and profession in shaping it.
Using a cross-sectional survey on two divergent professional groups, management students and working professionals, this study explores the causal role of religiosity on ATBE using pre-validated religious commitment inventory (RCI-10) and ATBE through multiple regression. The difference between ATBE owing to the difference in gender and profession is investigated using independent sample t-test and Levene’s F-test. Multiple analysis of variance and multiple analysis of covariance are used to test the difference in ethical business philosophies.
The findings of the study indicate that gender and profession do not influence ATBE, though religious individuals have an ethical approach towards business issues. The significant causal relationship between composite religiosity and ATBE is documented. Further, assessing the predictor role of intra- and inter-personal religiosity on ATBE, the authors see that only intra-personal religiosity, which measures individual’s meta-physical belief is found as a significant predictor of ATBE.
Individuals with higher intrapersonal religiosity would exhibit superior ethical conduct. For a developing country like India, such conduct at both private and public organizations would lead to reduced scams or frauds, stimulating economic growth.
Religion plays a significant role in the life of Indian people but its meaning and understanding differ from person to person. Evidence supports that people with strong religious beliefs whether management students or working professionals, tend to have a strong ethical attitude towards different situations in decision-making.
Goel, P. and Misra, R. (2020), "It’s not inter-religiosity but intra-religiosity that really matters in attitude towards business ethics: Evidence from India", International Journal of Ethics and Systems, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOES-10-2018-0153Download as .RIS
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