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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Charles KN Lam and S.H. Goo

The purpose of this paper is to discuss two important aspects of enforcement of ethical standards: indirect enforcement, that is the Confucian approach, and common law…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss two important aspects of enforcement of ethical standards: indirect enforcement, that is the Confucian approach, and common law enforcement. In the context of Confucianism, one must adopt the ethical teachings in a moderate or “middle” way. We should not be too attached to the liberal interpretation of the Confucian texts but must have the wisdom to apply the concepts case-by-case. The issue then is if there are no legal consequences or punishment, then how we can ensure that someone will continue to comply with the standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze the Confucian texts in relation to the enforcement of the ethical standards. The authors investigate the Entity Maximization and Sustainability Model by referring to the exit option, the voice option, the influence exerted on the board of directors, the sending of the Confucian representatives to sit on the board of directors, the oppression remedy and statutory derivative actions. The authors adopt a comparative study approach and argue that the Confucian enforcement of ethics can fill in the gap where common law rules of procedure cannot reach in the context of Chinese corporate governance system.

Findings

By referring to the Confucian teaching, there are several ways to encourage the superior to follow the ethical standards, namely, education, fear of punishment by society, peer pressure, intrinsic value, continuing education and codification of Confucian value/moral standards. In addition, there are several enforcement options based on the Entity Maximization and Sustainability Model, which is highly relevant to the enforcement model of Confucianism.

Originality/value

It is the first of its kind in strengthening the enforcement of Chinese business ethics by adopting the Confucian approach and common law approach. The two are not mutually exclusive but complementary with each other to bring the enforcement of Chinese business ethics to the next level.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Kiran Karande, C.P. Rao and Anusorn Singhapakdi

A recent article pointed out that “past research has paid relatively little attention to the sources of individuals’ moral philosophies from either a conceptual or an…

Abstract

A recent article pointed out that “past research has paid relatively little attention to the sources of individuals’ moral philosophies from either a conceptual or an empirical standpoint” and investigated the determinants of idealism and relativism among American marketers. A literature review indicates that there is even less theoretical and empirical cross‐cultural investigation of moral philosophies. As more and more companies are expanding into foreign markets, problems related to cross‐national ethics and social responsibility are becoming increasingly prevalent. Therefore, this study proposes a framework explaining the differences in the idealism and relativism of American, Malaysian, and Australian marketers based on: country differences (cultural differences and differences in economic and legal/political environment); corporate ethical values; and gender and age of the marketer. Results indicate that there are differences in the level of idealism and relativism exhibited by marketers from the three countries. Irrespective of country, corporate ethical values are positively related to the idealism and negatively related to the relativism of marketers. Also, irrespective of country, women are more idealistic than men, and relativism increases with age. Implications are offered and avenues for future research suggested.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 36 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 7 January 2015

This chapter examines China’s corporate governance and accounting environment that shapes the adoption of internationally acceptable principles and standards

Abstract

This chapter examines China’s corporate governance and accounting environment that shapes the adoption of internationally acceptable principles and standards. Specifically, it examines international influences, including supranational organizations; foreign investors and international accounting firms; domestic institutional influences, including the political system, economic system, legal system, and cultural system; and accounting infrastructure. China’s convergence is driven by desired efficiency of the corporate sector and legitimacy of participating in the global market. Influenced heavily by international forces in the context of globalization, corporate governance and accounting practices are increasingly becoming in line with internationally acceptable standards and codes. While convergence assists China in obtaining legitimacy, improving efficiency is likely to be adversely affected given that corporate governance and accounting in China operate in an environment that differs considerably from those of Anglo-American countries. An examination of the corporate governance and accounting environment in China suggests heavy government involvement within underdeveloped institutions. While the Chinese government has made impressive progress in developing the corporate governance and accounting environment for the market economy, China’s unique institutional setting is likely to affect how the imported concepts are interpreted and implemented.

Details

Adoption of Anglo-American Models of Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting in China
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-898-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Anusorn Singhapakdi, Kiran Karande, C.P. Rao and Scott J. Vitell

States that in the present era of global marketing, as more companies enter international markets, ethical problems are likely to increase. As companies and their managers…

Abstract

States that in the present era of global marketing, as more companies enter international markets, ethical problems are likely to increase. As companies and their managers deal with their counterparts in different countries, there is a need to understand the latter’s ethical decision‐making processes. Divergence in ethical behavior and attitudes of marketing professionals across cultures can be explained by, among other variables, differences in perceptions regarding the importance of ethics and social responsibility in achieving organizational effectiveness. This study investigates the variation in those perceptions among marketing professionals from Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, and the USA. The variation is explained by country differences (cultural differences, differences in the economic environment, and differences in legal/political environment), organizational ethical climate, and selected demographic characteristics of the marketer (gender and age).

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Po Keung Ip

This paper aims to examine whether and to what extent the practical wisdom contained in classical Confucianism can provide conceptual and ethical resources for ethical

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether and to what extent the practical wisdom contained in classical Confucianism can provide conceptual and ethical resources for ethical leadership for Chinese companies in the twenty‐first century. The objectives of the paper are: to reconstruct the core elements of Confucianism; to account some major issues confronting corporate China; to identify the attributes of the Confucian ethical leadership through those of Junzi against such a backdrop; to identify some major challenges for Junzi leadership in today's business environment in China; and to consider some implications of this analysis for management development and management education.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a normative analysis.

Findings

A critical articulation of the concept of ethical leadership based on the Confucian notion of Junzi is presented, and the concept is examined against the context of problems confronting business in China. The challenges for Confucian ethical leadership are identified in the conclusion.

Research limitations/implications

The paper presents a critical reference for managers who adopt or intend to adopt Confucian ideas in management.

Social implications

The paper provides a critical reference for those in society who assume leadership positions to learn about Chinese ethical leadership.

Originality/value

Few works in the literature have made the connection between Confucian ethical leadership and the Chinese corporate context with a critical approach and rigorous analysis to help reveal the inherent challenges.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 30 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Ron Berger

This paper aims to present the evolution of Chinese business ethics and CSR policy. China currently has business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) concerns…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the evolution of Chinese business ethics and CSR policy. China currently has business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) concerns primarily because its economy is in evolution. As the Chinese economy is in transition from the late 1970s from a command–Communist economy to a more hybrid system Beijing model (a system based on a capitalist market controlled through bureaucracy), much has to be understood if one wants to participate in its vast economic potential.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the building of a model that depicts the evolution of business ethics in China as a base for further research.

Findings

With the rapid development of the Chinese economy, opportunities are opening up to Chinese entrepreneurs and connected officials. This has led to money worship and, in some cases, thorough unethical behavior. The uncertain and ever-changing rules of the game generate opportunity for business ethics and CSR problems. This wealth creates temptation and incentives to cut corners to get rich fast. Much research has tried to explain business ethics in China through the understanding of Guanxi (Chinese social network of reciprocal business relations common in Confucian cultures), but in my view, the evolutionary aspect of it is missing to explain the present and future situation. Whereas considerable research has dealt with the growth of Chinese industries in recent years, the key relationship between changes in its economy and shifts in Chinese business ethics has been neglected. This paper presents the evolution of Chinese business ethics and CSR policy.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the evolution of Chinese business ethics and how one has to adapt if one wants to succeed in its ever evolving and maturing market. A model is presented that can assist in future research in the area.

Details

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-4408

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Zhihong Gao and Joe H. Kim

This paper sets out to examine the formal regulatory framework of controlling soft issues in six Confucian societies: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to examine the formal regulatory framework of controlling soft issues in six Confucian societies: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. It aims to investigate whether these societies adopt a similar approach to soft issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of historical analysis and textual analysis.

Findings

Japan stands out among Confucian societies in regulating soft issues. The other five societies share considerable similarities, though each society's approach ultimately reflects the entanglement and interaction between various economic, political, cultural and historical factors in the local context.

Practical implications

For international advertisers, the ideological facet of advertising regulation in some Confucian societies spells unpredictable traps and troubles.

Originality/value

Only a very few works have systematically examined soft issues in advertising, and few have focused on East Asia. The paper contributes to the literature by comparing how societies with similar cultural traditions regulate soft issues.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Angus Young, Lawrence Lei, Brossa Wong and Betty Kwok

The purpose of this paper is to review research about China’s individual tax compliance. While empirical research in this jurisdiction is still in its infancy, the scale of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review research about China’s individual tax compliance. While empirical research in this jurisdiction is still in its infancy, the scale of the problem might be under estimated, or at least over looked. Comparatively, tax compliance as a subject matter has received considerable attention in developed Western economies, where the data had revealed an increasing trend of taxpayers not complying with their tax obligations. Although, this issue had not received as much attention by the Chinese government, as the world’s second largest economy and one of the most populous nations in the world, tax compliance is of critical importance to the Chinese economy and welfare of its citizens. Therefore, it is crucial that a review about China’s tax compliance research should be conducted to identify gaps in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses specifically on a review of empirical research about China’s individual tax compliance. While, this work is primarily descriptive, it builds on existing research to make normative recommendations aimed at improving tax compliance in China.

Findings

This paper reaffirmed earlier findings in the literature that Confucianism influences both Chinese social and individual ethical values, any attempt to foster greater tax compliance in China should appeal to the importance of taxes as contributions to the public funding of family and community welfare. However, what was missing from previous research is that the assumption about Chinese ethical values was overly narrow. Apart from Confucianism, another Chinese philosophy known as Legalism is also influential in prompting ethical behaviour, in particular on regulatory issues. Therefore, tax compliance in China drawing on Chinese ethical values should include both incentives and disincentives to prompt individuals to comply with their tax obligations.

Research limitations/implications

The observations and recommendations put forward in the paper are principle-based solutions drawn from Chinese ethical values. Furthermore, no detailed discussions on enforcement are included, as it is beyond the scope of the paper. Hence, the recommendations will require further empirical testing and should be examined in future research.

Originality/value

This review draws attention to a subject matter in China that has been overlooked. Apart from revisiting the key and related literature on China, this paper identified a gap that had been neglected in earlier research. Legalism, a less known Chinese ethical school of thoughts, is an important to the design of tax regulations prompting individuals to comply with their tax obligations.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 58 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2014

Alex Mak, Lenis Cheung, Amy Mak and Loretta Leung

The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise introduction of sustainability in human resource management (HRM) from the western perspective. With a review of Confucian

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise introduction of sustainability in human resource management (HRM) from the western perspective. With a review of Confucian thinking, it argues that the application of sustainability in HRM is more effective and efficient under the influence of Confucian values. Therefore, Chinese companies are likely ready to embrace the concept of sustainability and implement sustainable people management practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is mainly theoretical in perspective. It also draws on semi-structured interview data derived from a study conducted in companies that operated in two cities in China: Guangzhou and Beijing to support the discussion of synergies between Confucian values and the western concept of sustainability in HRM.

Findings

In the interviews, it was evident that the interviewees were adhered to Confucian values, although they did not make the connection explicit. The interview data also showed how Confucian values (e.g. Ren, Yi, Li) affect Chinese management of human resources.

Research limitations/implications

The number of interviewees involved was not sufficient to allow a conclusive comparison between groups. Further research is needed to develop comparisons.

Practical implications

The paper suggests a favourable application of Confucian values in sustainable people management practices.

Originality/value

The interview data provide insight into how Confucian values lend support to sustainability in HRM.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2014

Lili Zhao

This chapter aims to examine the introduction and development of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within a Chinese social, cultural, and political…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to examine the introduction and development of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within a Chinese social, cultural, and political context. It mainly looks at the CSR movement in China in order to explain how the traditional values of Confucianism contributed to the development of CSR discourse which is similar to and differs from some other countries in North America and Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter is primarily theoretical in perspective. It also adopts a discourse approach, specifically Fairclough’s three-step approach by drawing upon a large state-owned corporate group’s website documents and interview data in order to create new meanings of Chinese CSR shaped by Confucian moral philosophy.

Findings

The chapter argues that development of Chinese CSR theory incorporates a revival of Confucian moral philosophy into modern Western business management philosophy. It demonstrates a hybrid model for CSR practices which combine aspects of both Confucian business ethics and Western CSR theory.

Research limitations/implications

The research results are valid for state-owned enterprises and may not be generalized to other types of Chinese businesses such as private-owned enterprises and small business enterprises. Further research is needed to develop comparisons.

Practical implications

The chapter suggests a people-oriented leadership style which emphasizes the importance of people in the organization and is proven to be successful in the improvement of employee well-being and organizational productivity.

Originality/value

The originality of introducing interview data offers a benchmark for the study of CSR discourse in Chinese context. The chapter also provides a guide for business managers to design the strategies based on their own countries’ cultural, political, social, and institutional framework.

Details

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-152-7

Keywords

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