Organizational Ethics in Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis
10.1007/s10551-004-1525-6 Cite this article as: Al-Khatib, J.A., Rawwas, M.Y.A. & Vitell, S.J. J Bus Ethics (2004) 55: 307. doi:10.1007/s10551-004-1525-6 Abstract
Relationships with one’s employees, co-workers, or superiors create ethical dilemmas. Employees’ judgments and ethical perceptions have been extensively studied in Western cultures, but not in developing countries. The purpose of this investigation is to examine employees’ self-reported work-related ethics and compare them to their perceptions of co-workers’ and top managements’ along various morally challenging situations in three developing countries’ organizations. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, known as the Gulf countries, were selected as the research setting – and provided the sampling frame – for this study. The results suggest that respondents perceived all ethically challenging situations as unethical and had significant differences among themselves regarding the ethical perceptions of self, as compared to perceptions of peers’, and top managements’. Discussion of the results and implications are provided.
Keywords business ethics Arab employees Saudi Arabia Kuwait Oman References Ajzen, I. 1991 ‘The Theory of Planned Behavior’ Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50 179 211 Google Scholar Akaah, I. P. 1990 ‘Attitudes of Marketing Professionals toward Ethics in Marketing Research: A cross-national comparison’ Journal of Business Ethics 9 45 53 Google Scholar Al-Kazemi, A. A., Zajac, G. 1999 ‘Ethics Sensitivity and Awareness within Organizations in Kuwait: An Empirical Exploration of Espoused Theory and Theory-in-Use’ Journal of Business Ethics 20 353 361 Google Scholar Al-Khatib, J. A., Dobie, K., Vitell, S. J. 1995 ‘Consumer Ethics in Developing Countries: An Empirical Investigation’ Journal of Euro-Marketing 4 87 109 Google Scholar
Al-Khatib, J. A., A. A Stanton and M. Y. A. Rawwas: 2004, ‘Ethical Segmentation of Consumers in Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis’,
International Marketing Review (In the press). Al-Khatib, J. A., Vitell, S. J., Rawwas, M. Y. A. 1997 ‘Consumer Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Investigation’ European Journal of Marketing 31 750 767 Google Scholar Almaney, A 1981 ‘Cultural Traits of the Arabs’ Management International Review 21 10 18 Google Scholar Arnold, D., Ponemon, L. 1991 ‘Internal Auditors’ Perceptions of Whistle Blowing and the Influence of Moral Reasoning: An Experiment’ Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 10 1 18 Google Scholar Barnett, T., Bass, K., Brown, G., Hebert, F. J. 1998 ‘Ethical Ideology and the Ethical Judgments of Marketing Professionals’ Journal of Business Ethics 17 715 723 Google Scholar Baumhart, R. S. 1961 ‘How Ethical are Businessmen?’ Harvard Business Review 39 6 31 Google Scholar Beck, L., Ajzen, I. 1991 ‘Predicting Dishonest Actions Using the Theory of Planned Behavior’ Journal of Research and Personality 25 285 301 Google Scholar Bejou, D., Ennew, C., Palmer, A. 1998 ‘Trust, Ethics, and Relationship Satisfaction’ International Journal of Bank Marketing 16 170 175 Google Scholar Bhuian, S., Alhassan, A. M., Kim, D. 2002 ‘The Relationship Between Ethical Business Practices, Government Regulations, and Consumer Rights: An Examination in Saudi Arabia’ Business and Professional Ethics 21 47 63 Google Scholar
Bowman, J. S.: 1976, ‘Managerial Ethics in Business and Government’,
Business Horizons 79. Brislin, R. W. 1970 ‘Back Translation for Cross-Cultural Research’ Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 1 185 216 Google Scholar
D’ Aquila, J.: 1997, ‘Internal Control Environment Forces and Financial Reporting Decisions Made by Financial Accountants’, Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation (New York University).
Dean, P. J. 1992 ‘Making Codes of Ethics Real’ Journal of Business Ethics 11 285 290 Google Scholar Dolecheck, M., Dolecheck, C. 1987 ‘Business Ethics: A Comparison of Attitudes of Managers in Hong Kong and the United States’ Hong Kong Manager 1 28 43 Google Scholar Doney, P. M., Cannon, J. P., Mullen, M. R. 1998a ‘Understanding the Influence of a National Culture on ‘the Development of Trust’ Academy of Management of Management Review 23 601 620 Google Scholar Doney, P. M., Shapiro, R. J., Prewitt, K. 1998b ‘Understanding the Influence of National Culture on the Development of Trust’ Academy of Management, The Academy of Management Review 23 601 620 Google Scholar Ekin, M. G., Tezolmez, H. S. 1999 ‘Business Ethics in Turkey: An Empirical Investigation with Special Emphasis on Gender’ Journal of Business Ethics 18 17 34 Google Scholar
Ferrell, O. C. and L. Gresham: 1985, ‘A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’,
Journal of Marketing 87--96.
Ferrell. O. C., L. Gresham and J. Fraedrich: 1989, ‘A Synthesis of Ethical Decision Models for Marketing’,
Journal of Macromarketing 55--64. Ferrell, O. C., Krugman, D. 1981 ‘The Organization of Advertising: Corporate and Agency Views’ Journal of Advertising 10 21 30 Google Scholar Ferrell, O. C., Weaver, K. M. 1978 ‘Ethical Beliefs of Marketing Managers’ Journal of Marketing 42 69 73 Google Scholar Fishbein, M, Ajzen, I. 1975‘Belief, Attitude, Intentio and Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research’, Reading’ Addison Wesley Massachusetts Google Scholar
Forte, A.: 2004, ‘A Study of the Moral Reasoning of Selected Business Managers and the Influence of Organizational Ethical Climate’,
Journal of Business Ethics, 1--7.
Gibson, K.: 2000, ‘Excuses, Excuses: Moral Slippage in the Workplace’,
Business Horizons 65--72. Hofstede, G. 1980Cultures Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values Sage Publications Beverly Hill Google Scholar Hofstede, G. 1984Culture’s Consequences Sage London Google Scholar
Hofstede, G. B. Neuijen and G. Sanders: 1990, ‘Measuring Organizational Cultures: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study across Twenty Cases’,
Administrative Science Quarterly 286--316. Hofstede, G. 1991Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind McGraw-Hill New York Google Scholar Hofstede, G. 2001Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values Behaviors Institutions and Organizations Across Nations, 2nd edition Sage Publications London Google Scholar
Hunt, S. D. and S. J. Vitell: 1986, ‘A General Theory of Marketing Ethics’,
Journal of Macromarketing (spring), 5--16.
Hunt, S. D. and S. J. Vitell: 1992, ‘The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Retrospective and Revision’, in N. C. Quelch and J. H. Smith (eds.),
Ethics in Marketing (Richard D. Irwin, Chicago, IL). John, G. l984 ‘An Empirical Investigation of Some Antecedents of Opportunism in a Marketing Channel’ Journal of Marketing Research 21 278 289 Google Scholar Kale, S. H., Barnes, J. W. 1992 ‘Understanding the Domain of Cross-National Buyer-Seller Interactions’ Journal of International Business Studies 23 101 132 Google Scholar Kale, S. H., McIntyre, R. P. 1991 ‘Distribution Channel Relationships in Diverse Cultures’ International Marketing Review 8 31 45 Google Scholar Karande, K., Shankarmahesh, M. N., Rao, C. P., Rashid, Z. 2000 ‘Perceived Moral Intensity, Ethical Perception, and Ethical Intention of American and Malaysian Managers: A Comparative study’ International Business Review 9 37 59 Google Scholar Kohlberg, L. 1969 ‘Stages Sequences: The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Socialization’ Goslin, D. A. eds. Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research Rand McNally Chicago 347 480 Google Scholar Krugman, D., Ferrell, O. C. 1981 ‘The Organizational Ethics of Advertising: Corporate and Agency View’ Journal of Advertising 10 21 32 Google Scholar Lapin, L. L. 1973Statistics for Modern Business Decisions, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc, New York Google Scholar Lousig-Nont, G. M. 1985It’s a Great Feeling When You Know You’ve Hired An Honest, Dependable Employee Lousing-Nont and Associates Las Vegas, NV Google Scholar
Lowenstein, R. L.: 1967, ‘Measuring World Press Freedom as a Political Indicator’, Dissertation Abstracts International, 28/10-A
McDonald, G. M., Zepp, R. A. 1988 ‘Ethical Perceptions of Hong Kong Chinese Business Managers’ Journal of Business Ethics 7 835 845 Google Scholar McDaniel, C., Schoeps, N., Lincourt, J. 2001 ‘Organizational Ethics: Perceptions of Employees by Gender’ Journal of Business Ethics 33 245 256 Google Scholar Morris, T., Pavett, C. M. 1994 ‘Management Style and Productivity in Two Cultures’ Journal of International Business Studies 23 169 179 Google Scholar Muncy, J. A., Vitell, S. J. 1993 ‘Consumer Ethics: An Investigation of the Ethical Beliefs of the Final Consumer’ Journal of Business Research 24 297 311 Google Scholar Newstrom, J.W., Ruch, W. A. 1975 ‘How Unethical Are We?’ Supervisory Management 18 257 268 Google Scholar O’Reilly, C. A., Roberts, K. H. 1974 ‘Information filtration in Organizations: Three Experiments’ Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 11 253 265 Google Scholar Pitt, L. F., Abratt, R. 1986 ‘Corruption in Business: Are Management Attitudes right?’ Journal of Business Ethics 5 39 44 Google Scholar Ponemon, L. A. 1990 ‘Ethical Judgments in Accounting: A Cognitive-Developmental Perspective’ Critical Perspectives on Accounting 1 191 215 Google Scholar Rawwas, M. Y. A. 2001 ‘Culture, Personality and Morality: A Typology of International Consumers Ethical Beliefs’ International Marketing Review 18 188 209 Google Scholar Reidenbach, R., Robin, D., et al. 1990 ‘A Partial Testing of the Contingency Framework for Ethical Decision Making: A Path Analytical Approach’ Capella, L. M. eds. Progress in Marketing Thought Southern Marketing Association Mississippi State, MS 121 128 Google Scholar Robin, D., Giallourakis, M., David, F. R., Mortiz, T. E. 1989 ‘A Different Look at Codes of Ethics’ Business Horizons 32 66 73 Google Scholar Sackett, P. R., Harris, M. M. 1985 ‘Honesty Testing for Personnel Selection: Review and Critique Bernardin, H. J. Bownas, D. A. eds. Personality Assessment in Organizations Praeger New York 236 276 Google Scholar Shane, S., Venkataraman, S., MacMillian, I. 1995 ‘Cultural Differences in Innovation Championing Strategies’ Journal of Management 21 23 47 Google Scholar Singh, I. 1990 ‘Managerial Culture and Work-Related Values in India’ Organization Studies 11 75 101 Google Scholar Trevino, L., Weaver, G., Brown, M. 2000‘Comparing Senior Managers’ and Employees’ Perceptions of Organizational Ethics’ Academy of Management Proceedings Toronto, Canada Google Scholar Tuncalp, S. 1988 ‘The Marketing Research Scene in Saudi Arabia’ European Journal of Marketing 22 114 125 Google Scholar Vitell, S. J., Nwachukwa, S., Barnes, J. 1993 ‘The Effects of Culture on Ethical Decision Making: An Application of Hofstede’s Typology’ Journal of Business Ethics 12 753 760 Google Scholar Whipple, T. W., Swords, D. F. 1992 ‘Business Ethics Judgments: A Cross-Cultural Comparison’ Journal of Business Ethics 11 671 686 Google Scholar Williamson, O. E. 1975Markets and Hierarchies, Analysis and Antitrust Implications The Free Press New York Google Scholar Wong, S. 1998 ‘Staff Job-related Ethics of Hotel Employees in Hong Kong’ International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management l0 107 115 Google Scholar Zabid, A. R. M., Alsagoff, S. K. 1993 ‘Perceived Ethical Values of Malaysian Managers’ Journal of Business Ethics 12 331 337 Google Scholar Zajac, G. 1996 ‘Beyond Hammurabi: A Public Service Definition of Ethics Failure’ Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 6 145 190 Google Scholar Zeffane, R., Rugimbana, R. 1995 ‘Management in Less Developed Countries: A Review of Pretent Issues, Challenges, and Responses’ Leadership and Development Journal 16 26 36 Google Scholar Copyright information
© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004