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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Mike Chen-ho Chao, Fuan Li and Haiyang Chen

Motivated by the heated discussion with regard to the Chinese milk powder incident, this paper aims to explore the determinants of Chinese managers’ moral judgment. Are…

Abstract

Purpose

Motivated by the heated discussion with regard to the Chinese milk powder incident, this paper aims to explore the determinants of Chinese managers’ moral judgment. Are Chinese professional managers’ moral judgments on an ethical dilemma influenced by their commitment to the norms and values recognized by a prestigious professional association outside of China? Do Chinese managers’ moral development and level of relativism impact their ethical decisions?

Design/methodology/approach

A structured survey was conducted, generating 544 valid responses from Chinese managers.

Findings

The results showed that moral maturity and relativism, independently and together, were significantly related to Chinese managers’ moral judgment on a hypothetical business dilemma, though no significant effect was found for their commitment to ethics codes.

Originality/value

The findings confirm the important role of moral development and relativism in Chinese mangers’ moral judgment and suggest the need for further research on the impact of professional ethics codes.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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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.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Denni Arli, Fandy Tjiptono and Rebecca Porto

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of moral equity, relativism, and attitude towards digital piracy behaviour in a developing country. End-user piracy is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of moral equity, relativism, and attitude towards digital piracy behaviour in a developing country. End-user piracy is more difficult to detect than commercial piracy. Thus, an effective strategy to combat piracy needs a comprehensive understanding of both the supply and demand sides of piracy. The current study focuses on the demand side by investigating the impact of moral equity, relativism, and attitude on consumer piracy behaviour in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a convenient sample in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, questionnaires were distributed in a large private university. In addition, through snowball sampling techniques, the surveys were also distributed to other adults who live within a walking distance from the campus. The data collection resulted in 222 usable surveys (a response rate of 68 per cent).

Findings

In Indonesia, moral equity had a negative and significant impact on purchases of illegal copies of music CDs and pirated software. Relativism affects the purchase of pirated software positively, but its effect on purchases of illegal copies of CDs is insignificant. Attitude towards the act was negatively impacted by moral equity for CDs and software. Relativism only significantly affects the purchase of pirated software but in the opposite direction while it has failed to reach significance for illegal music CD purchases. Attitude towards the software piracy and purchases of illegal copies of music CDs positively affect consumer’s digital piracy behaviour. Finally, Indonesian consumers feel more morally wrong to purchase illegal copies of CDs than to buy pirated software.

Practical implications

In the context of Indonesia, higher moral equity has affected piracy behaviour negatively. Therefore, efforts to reduce piracy should focus on highlighting the importance of fairness and justice. One of the main drivers of digital piracy (e.g. buying, downloading, copying, and sharing digital materials illegally) is overpriced products. It has led many Indonesians to believe that it is acceptable to purchase pirated software and illegal copies of CDs. Nonetheless, if companies are able to lower prices; thus make it affordable to consumers, consumers will perceive fairness and justice in purchasing original copies of software and CDs.

Originality/value

There are very limited studies investigating factors impacting the purchase of pirated software and CDs in the developing countries specifically Indonesia, the fourth most populous nation in the world and one of the biggest markets for counterfeit products. This is one of first few studies exploring this issue in Indonesia.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

Michel Anteby

Business schools offer a unique window into the making of corporate morals since they bring together future executives at formative moments in their professional lives…

Abstract

Business schools offer a unique window into the making of corporate morals since they bring together future executives at formative moments in their professional lives. This paper relies on an analysis of faculty’s teaching tasks at the Harvard Business School to better understand the making of corporate morals. More specifically, it builds on a coding of teaching notes used by faculty members to highlight the importance of silence in promoting a form of moral relativism. This moral relativism constitutes, I argue, a powerful ideology – one that primes business leaders not to vilify any moral stand. In such a context, almost anything can be labeled “moral” and few behaviors can be deemed “immoral.”

Details

The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

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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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Book part
Publication date: 3 May 2018

Stuart Thomas

Using experimental scenarios, the current study suggest that the management accountants’ professional attributes social obligation, professional autonomy, professional…

Abstract

Using experimental scenarios, the current study suggest that the management accountants’ professional attributes social obligation, professional autonomy, professional affiliation, and professional dedication are associated with three ethical rationales that have been identified as playing important roles in ethical judgment, the perception of the ethicality of an action; moral equity, contractualism, and relativism. Understanding these issues will assist in determining the management accounting professional attributes that should be fostered in encouraging the ethical judgments of management accountants since research indicates that the moral equity and contractualism rationales are consistent with individuals at the post-conventional stage of ethical development and more ethical judgments while the relativism rationale is consistent with the conventional stage of moral development and less ethical judgments.

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-973-9

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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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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Lorne Cummings and Chris Patel

The aim of this chapter is to outline the research methodology for the study. Section 3.2 will discuss how a positive stakeholder theory can be formulated against the…

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to outline the research methodology for the study. Section 3.2 will discuss how a positive stakeholder theory can be formulated against the contrasting philosophies of moral universals and moral relativism. The aim of this section is to explain how stakeholder claims such as employee health and safety and environmental protection represent moral universals (fundamental ethical norms) and how differences in their perceived importance have less to do with claims of moral relativism and more to do with economic and social advancement, which can thwart the fulfilment of stakeholder objectives. The conflicting philosophies can hinder a normative approach to stakeholder theory in an international context and highlight the importance of a positive theory of the firm that can explain and predict stakeholder development in different contexts.

Details

Managerial Attitudes toward a Stakeholder Prominence within a Southeast Asia Context
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-255-5

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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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