Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 79, Issue 1–2, pp 103–111 | Cite as

International Bribery: Does a Written Code of Ethics Make a Difference in Perceptions of Business Professionals

  • Joseph A. McKinneyEmail author
  • Carlos W. Moore


This article analyzes the attitudes of United States business professionals toward the issue of international bribery, and in particular, whether or not having a written code of ethics has an effect on these attitudes. A vignette relating to international bribery from a widely used survey instrument was employed in a nationwide survey of business professionals to gather information on ethical attitudes of respondents. Data were also collected on gender of respondents, whether or not respondents were self-employed, whether or not the respondents’ firms had a written code of ethics, and to what extent the respondents’ firms generated revenues from international operations. Attitudes concerning whether or not international bribery is ever acceptable exhibited wide dispersion. Respondents from firms that have a written code of ethics were significantly less likely to find international bribery acceptable. Firms that generate revenues from international operations were significantly more likely to have a written code of ethics than were firms which did not generate revenues from international operations. Implications of the findings for business policy are discussed.


corruption international bribery ethical attitudes code of ethics international operations vignettes in ethical research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsBaylor UniversityWacoU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of MarketingBaylor UniversityWacoU.S.A.

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