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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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2020

Collins Sankay Oboh, Solabomi Omobola Ajibolade and Olatunde Julius Otusanya

The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of ethical ideological orientation (moral idealism and moral relativism), work sector and types of professional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of ethical ideological orientation (moral idealism and moral relativism), work sector and types of professional membership on the ethical decision-making (EDM) process of professional accountants in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study obtained primary data from 329 professional accountants with the aid of a structured questionnaire containing four scenarios of ethical dilemmas. The data were analysed using descriptive statistical analysis, independent sample t-test, Pearson correlation analysis and multiple regression techniques.

Findings

The results revealed both idealistic and relativistic moral orientation among the accountants surveyed with a higher mean score (>4.0) recorded for moral idealism. Moral idealism was found to have a positive influence, while moral relativism a negative influence on the three stages (ethical recognition, ethical judgement and ethical intention) of EDM examined. Professional accountants with idealistic orientation showed a higher disposition towards making ethical decisions in situations involving ethical dilemmas than those tending towards relativistic orientation. The results also revealed that work sector (private or public) and types of professional membership play significant roles in predicting the EDM process of professional accountants in Nigeria.

Practical implications

The study provides empirical evidence that could be used to support educational and legislative efforts in enhancing the moral ideological orientation of professional accountants, which will, in turn, enhance their EDM processes. The findings could be used to enhance ethics instructions and training of current and prospective professional accountants in educational settings, especially in countries such as Nigeria where there is yet to be a discrete ethics course in the curriculum for accounting undergraduate degree programmes. Professional accounting bodies in Nigeria and other developing countries could use the evidence in this study to strengthen the ethics code for professional accountants.

Originality/value

The study is unique in focussing on professional accountants in developing countries using Nigeria to represent developing countries with high corruption profile and weak institutions and governments and, as such, it contributes to the scarce research output on accounting ethics in developing countries.

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Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Collins Sankay Oboh

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of personal and moral intensity variables on specific processes, namely, ethical recognition, ethical judgment and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of personal and moral intensity variables on specific processes, namely, ethical recognition, ethical judgment and ethical intention, involved in the ethical decision making (EDM) of accounting professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire containing four vignettes of ethical dilemmas is used in the paper to obtain data from 329 accounting professionals. The data are analyzed using Pearson correlation matrix, independent sample t-test, one-way analyses of variance and multiple regression estimation techniques.

Findings

The findings of the paper suggest that age, economic status, upbringing, moral idealism and relativism, magnitude of consequence and social consensus are significant determinants of the EDM process of accounting professionals.

Practical implications

The paper provides evidence to guide accounting regulatory bodies on ways to strengthen extant measures that ensure strict compliance with ethics codes among accounting professionals in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The paper provides support for Kohlberg’s cognitive reasoning and moral development theory and Rest’s EDM theoretical model, which will aid the development of a structured curriculum for accounting ethics instruction in Nigeria, as hitherto, there is yet to be a provision for a stand-alone ethics course in the undergraduate accounting programs in Nigeria.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

A. Ben Oumlil and Joseph L. Balloun

This study aims to examine the ethical beliefs and moral philosophical typologies, the relative effect of religiosity on personal ethical beliefs and behavior of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the ethical beliefs and moral philosophical typologies, the relative effect of religiosity on personal ethical beliefs and behavior of the collectivist and individualistic business executives.

Design/methodology/approach

This research assesses the relative impact of significant cultural factors on the business ethical decision-making process in a Western and individualistic cultural context (the USA) in comparison to a non-Western and collective cultural context (Morocco). To understand how cultural variations influence business ethical practices, this study adopts Hofstede’s cultural framework for comparison of business executives’ ethical decisions within a cross-cultural context. Hypotheses are tested on survey data on 172 business executives.

Findings

Results show that most collective business executives are “Situationists”. The findings reveal a strong, positive relationship between business managers’ religiosity and their idealism degrees. This study also reveals mixed findings in examining the correlation of religiosity with various components of ethical intentions.

Research limitations/implications

The link between religiosity and ethical intentions needs to be viewed with caution. This calls for expanding the scope of this study into other cultures and religions.

Practical implications

Differences of the findings in ethical typologies between collective and individualistic business executives may lead to different negotiation styles on ethical business decisions and issues. Managers from a collective culture are not as likely to exhibit much change in their initial ethical orientation(s). There is a strong positive relationship between a business manager’s religiosity and his/her degree of idealism. Thus, the more religious business managers are, the more Absolutist they are when making ethical and moral judgments.

Originality/value

This research works to fill the gap by examining the impact of culture on the business/marketing ethical decision-making processes within the contexts of a Western cultural and developed nation and a non-Western cultural, and developing/Mediterranean/North African nation. The findings clarify the influence of culture on business ethical decisions. Such an understanding can assist corporate managers in developing and successfully implementing business ethical codes that lead to enhanced moral conduct in their organizations.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Noor Liza Adnan, Che Ku Hisam Che Ku Kassim and Roziani Ali

This study aims to examine the influence of ethical ideology (EID) toward the commission of information or measures manipulation (IMM), as it is a less salient ethical…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the influence of ethical ideology (EID) toward the commission of information or measures manipulation (IMM), as it is a less salient ethical issue that has failed to attract the attention of researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using stratified random sampling strategy, this study used survey questionnaire with 217 usable responses. It adopted a relatively new Ruler-Option (RO) scale. Both SPSS 21 and partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) were used to analyze its data.

Findings

Findings revealed surprising results where idealism and IMM was significantly positively related, while relativism and IMM was significantly negatively related, contradicting the generalized theory that relativists demonstrate higher propensity to behave unethically as compared to idealists.

Research limitations/implications

This study only examined a direct relationship between EID and IMM when such relationship might be influenced by other mediating or moderating effects. It also exclusively focused on a single industry, hence limiting a meaningful comparison among multiple industries.

Practical implications

The finding provides a proof that IMM does prevail in a highly regulated banking industry that efforts must be made to curb these practices. Notably, having relativists as decision-makers may give an advantage due to their ability to comprehensively appraise every ethical issue based on the situational context.

Originality/value

Due to its contradictory findings, this study contributed essential insights to the existing body of knowledge by stimulating discussion on EID and unethical behavior. Additionally, it provides evidence for the suitability of RO scale and the PLS-SEM in statistical analysis.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Ricardo Malagueño, Sudarshan Pillalamarri, Amaury José Rezende and Marcelo Botelho da Costa Moraes

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of length of service and ethical ideologies on cognitive moral development (CMD) and ethical behavioral intentions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of length of service and ethical ideologies on cognitive moral development (CMD) and ethical behavioral intentions among public sector tax auditors in Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

The research data were collected via survey questionnaires from a sample of 625 auditors who work for the Brazilian tax authority. Participants voluntarily complete an online instrument which included three scenarios with context-specific moral dilemmas, questions about the specific scenarios and an ethics position questionnaire. Multinomial logistic and ordinary least squares regressions were used to analyze the data.

Findings

The findings reveal that public sector tax auditors with shorter length of service are more likely to be at higher stages of moral development; relativistic ideology among public sector auditors is positively associated with more lenient ethical behavioral intention; idealistic ideology among public sector auditors is positively associated with stricter ethical behavioral intention; public sector auditors classified as absolutists are stricter in their ethical behavioral intentions; and public sector auditors classified as absolutists with length of service between 5 and 15 years are more likely to be at higher stages of moral development when compared to public sector tax auditors with longer length of service.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study is one of the first studies that attempt to understand the effects of length of service and ethical ideology on CMD and ethical behavioral intention among public sector auditors. Additionally, it examines these issues in the context of Latin America.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Geoffrey P. Lantos

The Need for Ethical Standards The 1970's and 1980's have witnessed an increased concern about building an ethical foundation upon which to make better business decisions…

Abstract

The Need for Ethical Standards The 1970's and 1980's have witnessed an increased concern about building an ethical foundation upon which to make better business decisions in those areas where the Tightness or wrongness of those decisions is open to question. Ethics is the name given to the attempt to think through the moral implications of human actions; business ethics is the study of the morality of business decisions and the determination of standards for those decisions.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Abdallah Alsaad, Abdulazeez Y.H. Saif-Alyousfi and Hamzah Elrehail

The cognitive processes through which religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption have received little attention in prior research. This study aims to explore the…

Abstract

Purpose

The cognitive processes through which religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption have received little attention in prior research. This study aims to explore the influence of religiosity and idealism on ethical purchasing intention through moral obligation and perceived customer effectiveness (PCE).

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses data from 149 Muslim participants in Saudi Arabia, using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results reveal that religiosity leads to PCE but not to moral obligation and that idealism leads to both PCE and moral obligation. Mediation analysis indicated that PCE mediates the effect of both religiosity and idealism, although moral obligation only mediates the effect of idealism.

Research limitations/implications

This research enriches the understanding of ethical consumption and contributes to the debate on how religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption. It also has significant implications for theory and the development of sustainable marketing initiatives. Marketing campaigns and other promotional activities may focus on the interconnection between ethical purchase and the religious and ideology dimensions of consumers. Also, while formulating a communication strategy, it is necessary to emphasize the religious dimension of the sustainable use of the product.

Originality/value

Moral obligation and PCE have been shown as cognitive and psychological mechanisms explaining the links between religiosity or idealism and ethical purchasing behaviour.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2019

Arpita Agnihotri and Saurabh Bhattacharya

The purpose of this study is to explore how institutional trust, frugality and materialism motivate consumers’ unethical behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore how institutional trust, frugality and materialism motivate consumers’ unethical behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted the study in two phases – qualitative and quantitative. In the qualitative phase through a content analysis of semi-structured interviews, a list of unethical activities was obtained. In the quantitative phase, a questionnaire was developed, which had questions related to the unethical activities. Data collection for the quantitative phase was achieved through mall intercept surveys. The collected data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and multivariate regression analysis.

Findings

Poor institutional environment, frugal attitude and materialistic values motivate consumers from an emerging economy to indulge in unethical acts some of which were not explored before such as booking a cab but not boarding or stealing electricity.

Originality/value

Research evidence on unethical consumer behavior is lacking from emerging markets. Furthermore, extant studies have used mainly national culture models to explore unethical behavior, and finally, the role of institutional trust and frugality has not been explored in previous studies. The present study tries to fill these gaps by considering these elements as the cornerstone of this study.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Denni Arli and Cheryl Leo

Various studies showed that unethical behaviours committed by consumers occur more frequently than may be expected. People have stolen from a shop at some time in their…

Abstract

Purpose

Various studies showed that unethical behaviours committed by consumers occur more frequently than may be expected. People have stolen from a shop at some time in their life and remained silent, people walk out of a grocery store have stolen something from the store and employees have stolen from their workplace. Why seemingly good people do bad things and vice versa? What factors contribute to this discrepancy? Hence, the purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to examine the impact of ethical ideology on self-control and guilt proneness; second, to examine the roles of self-control and guilt proneness in consumer ethical decision making; and finally, to explore the mediating effects of self-control and guilt proneness on the relationship between consumer ideology and ethical decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected a non-probability sample using a cross-sectional online survey of adult consumers across Australia wide. The sampling frame was from a pre-recruited online panel company Permissioncorp. Consumers were introduced to the study in relation to their beliefs in general consumer ethics behaviours. The response rate for the survey invite was 17.9 per cent, with a final sample size of 311 consumers out of 3,246 that were invited to participate based on the these screening criteria, i.e. their country of birth (Australia only), gender, age group, and state in which they reside to ensure representation across these groups.

Findings

The results showed that idealism was a positive determinant of guilt proneness and self-control, whereas relativistic individuals were less prone to guilt and less able to control their behaviour. In addition, there was a significant negative correlation between self-control and unethical consumer behaviour. Finally, both self-control and guilt proneness had an indirect mediating effect on the relationship between ethical ideology and consumer behaviour.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to explore the interactions between ethical ideology, self-control, guilt proneness, and consumer ethics.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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