Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 143-150

First online:

Some Cross-Cultural Evidence on Ethical Reasoning

  • Judy TsuiAffiliated withDepartment of Accountancy, City University of Hong Kong
  • , Carolyn WindsorAffiliated withFaculty of Commerce and Management, Griffith University

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This study draws on Kohlberg's Cognitive Moral Development Theory and Hofstede's Culture Theory to examine whether cultural differences are associated with variations in ethical reasoning. Ethical reasoning levels for auditors from Australia and China are expected to be different since auditors from China and Australia are also different in terms of the cultural dimensions of long term orientation, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and individualism. The Defining Issues Tests measuring ethical reasoning P scores were distributed to auditors from Australia and China including Hong Kong and The Chinese Mainland. Results show that auditors from Australia have higher ethical reasoning scores than those from China, consistent with Hofstede's Culture Theory predictions.

auditors ethical reasoning Hofstede's culture theory Kohlberg's cognitive moral development theory