Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 104, Issue 3, pp 433-447

First online:

Business Ethics Perceptions of Public and Private Sector Iranians

  • Bahaudin G. MujtabaAffiliated withThe H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University Email author 
  • , Reza TajaddiniAffiliated withSchool of Business, University of Otago
  • , Lisa Y. ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Information Management, I-Shou University

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Ethical maturity is a great concern to all educators, firms, and investors across the globe. This research surveyed 448 citizens, managers and employees in Iran to measure their Personal Business Ethics Scores (PBES) to see if age, education, management experience, and government work experience make a difference in making more ethical decisions. This study contributes to the theory of moral development across the Iranian culture as it is the first known study using this method. The results suggest that education and more years of government work experience make a difference in the moral maturity of respondents. This study confirms that the ethical maturity of respondents is enhanced either through the authoritarian regime or socialization with Islamic values. Kohlberg’s moral development theory regarding ethical maturity is partially supported since those with more years of experience in government and more formal education have higher business ethics scores. Implications are discussed.


Iran Government experience Business ethics Ethical maturity Morality Morals Moral development