Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 283–306 | Cite as

Societal-Level Versus Individual-Level Predictions of Ethical Behavior: A 48-Society Study of Collectivism and Individualism

  • David A. RalstonEmail author
  • Carolyn P. Egri
  • Olivier Furrer
  • Min-Hsun Kuo
  • Yongjuan Li
  • Florian Wangenheim
  • Marina Dabic
  • Irina Naoumova
  • Katsuhiko Shimizu
  • María Teresa de la Garza Carranza
  • Ping Ping Fu
  • Vojko V. Potocan
  • Andre Pekerti
  • Tomasz Lenartowicz
  • Narasimhan Srinivasan
  • Tania Casado
  • Ana Maria Rossi
  • Erna Szabo
  • Arif Butt
  • Ian Palmer
  • Prem Ramburuth
  • David M. Brock
  • Jane Terpstra-Tong
  • Ilya Grison
  • Emmanuelle Reynaud
  • Malika Richards
  • Philip Hallinger
  • Francisco B. Castro
  • Jaime Ruiz-Gutiérrez
  • Laurie Milton
  • Mahfooz Ansari
  • Arunas Starkus
  • Audra Mockaitis
  • Tevfik Dalgic
  • Fidel León-Darder
  • Hung Vu Thanh
  • Yong-lin Moon
  • Mario Molteni
  • Yongqing Fang
  • Jose Pla-Barber
  • Ruth Alas
  • Isabelle Maignan
  • Jorge C. Jesuino
  • Chay-Hoon Lee
  • Joel D. Nicholson
  • Ho-Beng Chia
  • Wade Danis
  • Ajantha S. Dharmasiri
  • Mark Weber


Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed.


Cultural values Influence ethics Hierarchical linear modeling Collectivism Individualism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Ralston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolyn P. Egri
    • 2
  • Olivier Furrer
    • 3
  • Min-Hsun Kuo
    • 4
  • Yongjuan Li
    • 5
  • Florian Wangenheim
    • 6
  • Marina Dabic
    • 7
  • Irina Naoumova
    • 8
  • Katsuhiko Shimizu
    • 9
  • María Teresa de la Garza Carranza
    • 10
  • Ping Ping Fu
    • 11
  • Vojko V. Potocan
    • 12
  • Andre Pekerti
    • 13
  • Tomasz Lenartowicz
    • 14
  • Narasimhan Srinivasan
    • 15
  • Tania Casado
    • 16
  • Ana Maria Rossi
    • 17
  • Erna Szabo
    • 18
  • Arif Butt
    • 19
  • Ian Palmer
    • 20
  • Prem Ramburuth
    • 21
  • David M. Brock
    • 22
  • Jane Terpstra-Tong
    • 23
  • Ilya Grison
    • 24
  • Emmanuelle Reynaud
    • 25
  • Malika Richards
    • 26
  • Philip Hallinger
    • 27
  • Francisco B. Castro
    • 28
  • Jaime Ruiz-Gutiérrez
    • 29
  • Laurie Milton
    • 30
  • Mahfooz Ansari
    • 31
  • Arunas Starkus
    • 32
  • Audra Mockaitis
    • 33
  • Tevfik Dalgic
    • 34
  • Fidel León-Darder
    • 35
  • Hung Vu Thanh
    • 36
  • Yong-lin Moon
    • 37
  • Mario Molteni
    • 38
  • Yongqing Fang
    • 39
  • Jose Pla-Barber
    • 35
  • Ruth Alas
    • 40
  • Isabelle Maignan
    • 41
  • Jorge C. Jesuino
    • 42
  • Chay-Hoon Lee
    • 43
  • Joel D. Nicholson
    • 44
  • Ho-Beng Chia
    • 45
  • Wade Danis
    • 46
  • Ajantha S. Dharmasiri
    • 47
  • Mark Weber
    • 48
  1. 1.University Fellow International Research ConsortiumFt. MyersUSA
  2. 2.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.University of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  4. 4.National Central UniversityZhongliTaiwan
  5. 5.Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  7. 7.University of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  8. 8.University of HartfordHartfordUSA
  9. 9.Keio UniversityYokohamaJapan
  10. 10.Instituto Tecnológico de CelayaCelayaMexico
  11. 11.Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  12. 12.University of MariborMariborSlovenia
  13. 13.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  14. 14.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  15. 15.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  16. 16.University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  17. 17.International Stress Management AssociationPorto AlegreBrazil
  18. 18.Johannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria
  19. 19.Lahore University of Management SciencesLahorePakistan
  20. 20.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  21. 21.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  22. 22.Ben-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  23. 23.Monash UniversityBandar SunwayMalaysia
  24. 24.University of WestminsterLondonUK
  25. 25.IAE Marseille UniversitéAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  26. 26.Pennsylvania State UniversityReadingUSA
  27. 27.Hong Kong Institute of EducationHong KongChina
  28. 28.CEMPRE-Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  29. 29.Universidad de los AndesBogotáColombia
  30. 30.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  31. 31.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  32. 32.CIBER-VilniusVilniusLithuania
  33. 33.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  34. 34.University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  35. 35.University of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  36. 36.National Economics UniversityHanoiVietnam
  37. 37.Seoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  38. 38.Catholic University of MilanMilanItaly
  39. 39.University of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  40. 40.Estonia Business SchoolTallinnEstonia
  41. 41.VU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  42. 42.Instituto Superior de Ciencias do Trabalho e da EmpresaLisbonPortugal
  43. 43.Keppel Offshore & MarineSingaporeSingapore
  44. 44.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  45. 45.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  46. 46.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  47. 47.Postgraduate Institute of ManagementColomboSri Lanka
  48. 48.Argosy University-Twin CitiesEaganUSA

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