The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between culture and managers attitude towards business ethics in Nigeria. Several studies have recognized that culture affects ethical behavior. However, very few studies have been conducted on how culture affects managers' attitudes towards business ethics which may predict their ethical behavior especially in developing African countries. The focal point is that this study is to address this knowledge gap in the literature.
The author collected data from 351 managers in selected firms in Nigeria. Two instruments were used to measure Hofstede's five cultural dimensions and attitudes toward business ethics. Correlation and regression analysis were used to test and predict the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables in the study.
Results show that culture has a significant influence on ethical attitudes of managers. The findings also specifically revealed that relationships exist among Hofstede's cultural dimension of power distance, collectivism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, short-term orientation and the dimensions of attitudes towards business ethics.
The generalization of the findings may be limited by some of the sample characteristics. First, the study was limited to six cities in Nigeria; as a result, broader geographic sampling would better represent the national profile. Second, the drop off and pick up method used in data collection and the usual social-desirability bias associated with survey research could be limitations for the study. However, the author took extreme measures to protect the identities of the respondents. Finally, replication of this study using larger samples and a broader geographic base is suggested for cross-validation purposes.
Understanding that ethical beliefs and moral decision-making are dependent on culture and play an important role in managing and developing a successful ethics program. The results can help multinational corporations in developing effective culturally based ethical codes of conduct; as well as to design and manage targeted ethical policies and programs that will actively motivate, stimulate, support, encourage, and promote an outstanding ethical organization in Nigeria.
There have been very few previous studies on how culture affects managers' attitude toward business ethics within the sub-Saharan African context. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first empirical study on this topic in Nigeria, a sub-Saharan African country. The results provide insights on how culture can influence ethical attitude of managers in Nigeria. As a ground-breaking study on this topic in Nigeria, the findings may provide managers and scholars with an understanding of impact of culture on ethics. The insights gained from this study will contribute to the future research development on this topic in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the study is of significant value to practitioners and scholars alike.
O. Okpara, J. (2014), "The effects of national culture on managers' attitudes toward business ethics: Implications for organizational change", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 174-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-07-2012-0046Download as .RIS
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