Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 893–917 | Cite as

Monetary Intelligence and Behavioral Economics Across 32 Cultures: Good Apples Enjoy Good Quality of Life in Good Barrels

  • Thomas Li-Ping TangEmail author
  • Toto Sutarso
  • Mahfooz A. Ansari
  • Vivien Kim Geok Lim
  • Thompson Sian Hin Teo
  • Fernando Arias-Galicia
  • Ilya E. Garber
  • Randy Ki-Kwan Chiu
  • Brigitte Charles-Pauvers
  • Roberto Luna-Arocas
  • Peter Vlerick
  • Adebowale Akande
  • Michael W. Allen
  • Abdulgawi Salim Al-Zubaidi
  • Mark G. Borg
  • Luigina Canova
  • Bor-Shiuan Cheng
  • Rosario Correia
  • Linzhi Du
  • Consuelo Garcia de la Torre
  • Abdul Hamid Safwat Ibrahim
  • Chin-Kang Jen
  • Ali Mahdi Kazem
  • Kilsun Kim
  • Jian Liang
  • Eva Malovics
  • Anna Maria Manganelli
  • Alice S. Moreira
  • Richard T. Mpoyi
  • Anthony Ugochukwu Obiajulu Nnedum
  • Johnsto E. Osagie
  • AAhad M. Osman-Gani
  • Mehmet Ferhat Özbek
  • Francisco José Costa Pereira
  • Ruja Pholsward
  • Horia D. Pitariu
  • Marko Polic
  • Elisaveta Gjorgji Sardžoska
  • Petar Skobic
  • Allen F. Stembridge
  • Theresa Li-Na Tang
  • Caroline Urbain
  • Martina Trontelj
  • Jingqiu Chen
  • Ningyu Tang


Monetary Intelligence theory asserts that individuals apply their money attitude to frame critical concerns in the context and strategically select certain options to achieve financial goals and ultimate happiness. This study explores the bright side of Monetary Intelligence and behavioral economics, frames money attitude in the context of pay and life satisfaction, and controls money at the macro-level (GDP per capita) and micro-level (Z income). We theorize: Managers with low love of money motive but high stewardship behavior will have high subjective well-being: pay satisfaction and quality of life. Data collected from 6586 managers in 32 cultures across six continents support our theory. Interestingly, GDP per capita is related to life satisfaction, but not to pay satisfaction. Individual income is related to both life and pay satisfaction. Neither GDP nor income is related to Happiness (money makes people happy). Our theoretical model across three GDP groups offers new discoveries: In high GDP (rich) entities, “high income” not only reduces aspirations—“Rich, Motivator, and Power,” but also promotes stewardship behavior—“Budget, Give/Donate, and Contribute” and appreciation of “Achievement.” After controlling income, we demonstrate the bright side of Monetary Intelligence: Low love of money motive but high stewardship behavior define Monetary Intelligence. “Good apples enjoy good quality of life in good barrels.” This notion adds another explanation to managers’ low magnitude of dishonesty in entities with high Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) (risk aversion for gains of high probability) (Tang et al. 2015. doi: 10.1007/s10551-015-2942-4). In low GDP (poor) entities, high income is related to poor Budgeting skills and escalated Happiness. These managers experience equal satisfaction with pay and life. We add a new vocabulary to the conversation of monetary intelligence, income, GDP, happiness, subjective well-being, good and bad apples and barrels, corruption, and behavioral ethics.


Prospect theory GDP Corruption Perceptions Index/CPI Satisfaction Corporate ethical values International Cross-cultural Global economic pyramid Behavioral economics Economists/psychologist 



We would like to thank Editor-in-Chief Alex C. Michalos for his dedication to the Journal of Business Ethics and his encouragement, inspiration, and continuous support of our research projects. The senior author would like to thank Faculty Research and Creative Activity Committee of Middle Tennessee State University and all co-authors’ respective institutions for financial support, late Fr. Wiatt Funk and late Prof. Kuan Ying Tang and Fang Chen Tang for their inspiration, and pay special tribute to Prof. Horia D. Pitariu who passed away on March 25, 2010. Adebowale Akande would like to thank Bolanle E. Adetoun, Modupe F. Adewuyi, and Titilola Akande for their assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Li-Ping Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toto Sutarso
    • 2
  • Mahfooz A. Ansari
    • 3
  • Vivien Kim Geok Lim
    • 4
  • Thompson Sian Hin Teo
    • 4
  • Fernando Arias-Galicia
    • 5
  • Ilya E. Garber
    • 6
  • Randy Ki-Kwan Chiu
    • 7
  • Brigitte Charles-Pauvers
    • 8
  • Roberto Luna-Arocas
    • 9
  • Peter Vlerick
    • 10
  • Adebowale Akande
    • 11
  • Michael W. Allen
    • 12
  • Abdulgawi Salim Al-Zubaidi
    • 13
  • Mark G. Borg
    • 14
  • Luigina Canova
    • 15
  • Bor-Shiuan Cheng
    • 16
  • Rosario Correia
    • 17
  • Linzhi Du
    • 18
  • Consuelo Garcia de la Torre
    • 19
  • Abdul Hamid Safwat Ibrahim
    • 20
  • Chin-Kang Jen
    • 21
  • Ali Mahdi Kazem
    • 13
  • Kilsun Kim
    • 22
  • Jian Liang
    • 23
  • Eva Malovics
    • 24
  • Anna Maria Manganelli
    • 15
  • Alice S. Moreira
    • 25
  • Richard T. Mpoyi
    • 2
  • Anthony Ugochukwu Obiajulu Nnedum
    • 26
  • Johnsto E. Osagie
    • 27
  • AAhad M. Osman-Gani
    • 28
  • Mehmet Ferhat Özbek
    • 29
  • Francisco José Costa Pereira
    • 30
  • Ruja Pholsward
    • 31
  • Horia D. Pitariu
    • 32
  • Marko Polic
    • 33
  • Elisaveta Gjorgji Sardžoska
    • 34
  • Petar Skobic
    • 35
  • Allen F. Stembridge
    • 36
  • Theresa Li-Na Tang
    • 37
  • Caroline Urbain
    • 8
  • Martina Trontelj
    • 33
  • Jingqiu Chen
    • 23
  • Ningyu Tang
    • 23
  1. 1.Department of Management, Jennings A. Jones College of BusinessMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  2. 2.Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  3. 3.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  4. 4.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.Universidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMexico
  6. 6.Saratov State UniversitySaratovRussia
  7. 7.Hong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  8. 8.University of NantesNantesFrance
  9. 9.University of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  10. 10.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  11. 11.Independent Research CollaborationDurbanSouth Africa
  12. 12.İpek UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  13. 13.Sultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  14. 14.University of MaltaMsidaMalta
  15. 15.University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  16. 16.National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  17. 17.Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon – PortugalLisbonPortugal
  18. 18.Nankai UniversityTianjinChina
  19. 19.Technological Institute of MonterreyMonterreyMexico
  20. 20.Suez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt
  21. 21.National Sun-Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  22. 22.Sogang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  23. 23.Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  24. 24.University of SzegedSzegedHungary
  25. 25.Federal University of ParáParáBrazil
  26. 26.Nnamdi Azikiwe UniversityAwkaNigeria
  27. 27.Florida A&M UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  28. 28.International Islamic University of MalaysiaSelangorMalaysia
  29. 29.Gümüşhane UniversityGümüşhaneTurkey
  30. 30.Lusófona UniversityLisbonPortugal
  31. 31.Rangsit UniversityPathum ThaniThailand
  32. 32.Babes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  33. 33.University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  34. 34.University St. Cyril and MethodiusSkopjeMacedonia
  35. 35.ALDI, Inc.IrvineUSA
  36. 36.Andrews UniversityBerrien SpringsUSA
  37. 37.Tang Global Consulting GroupFranklinUSA

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