Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 235–248 | Cite as

Business ethics and job-related constructs: A cross-cultural comparison of automotive salespeople

  • Earl D. Honeycutt
  • Judy A. Siguaw
  • Tammy G. Hunt


Although a number of articles have addressed ethical perceptions and behaviors, few studies have examined ethics across cultures. This research focuses on measuring the job satisfaction, customer orientation, ethics, and ethical training of automotive salespersons in the U.S. and Taiwan. The relationships of these variables to salesperson performance were also investigated. Ethics training was found to be negatively related to perceived levels of ethicalness and performance. High performance U.S. salespeople reported high ethical behavior, while the opposite was true in Taiwan. Customer orientation in both countries was influenced by ethics training. Managers should evaluate current ethics training programs to insure correct ethical behavior is taught and rewarded.


Economic Growth Training Program Business Ethic Ethical Behavior Customer Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, E. and D. C. Robertson: 1991, ‘Sales Force Ethics’,Chief Executive Magazine, Inc. 64 (Jan/Feb), 62–64.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, H. and D. J. Fritzsche: 1987a, ‘A Comparison of the Ethical Behavior of American, French and German Managers’,Columbia Journal of World Business (Winter), 87–95.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, H. and D. J. Fritzsche: 1987b ‘Business Ethics: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Managers' Attitudes’,Journal of Business Ethics 6, 289–295.Google Scholar
  4. Bellizzi, J. A. and R. E. Hite: 1989, ‘Supervising Unethical Salesforce Behavior’,Journal of Marketing 53(2), 36–47.Google Scholar
  5. Chang, D.: 1992, ‘What? Ford Beats Toyota!’, unpublished graduate manuscript, UNC-Wilmington.Google Scholar
  6. Chonko, L B. and J. J. Burnett: 1983, ‘Measuring the Importance of Ethical Situations as a Source of Role Conflict: A Survey of Salespeople, Sales Managers, and Sales Support Personnel’,Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 3, 41–47.Google Scholar
  7. Dubinsky, A. J. and T. N. Ingram: 1984, ‘Correlates of Salespeople's Ethical Conflict: An Exploratory Investigation’,Journal of Business Ethics 3, 43–53.Google Scholar
  8. Dubinsky, A. J., M. A. Jolson, M. Kotabe and C. U. Lim: 1991, ‘A Cross-National Investigation of Industrial Salespeople's Ethical Perceptions’,Journal of International Business Studies (Fourth Quarter), 651–670.Google Scholar
  9. Europa World Encyclopedia: 1992, ‘Taiwan-Passenger Cars’ (Dec. 23).Google Scholar
  10. Ferrell, O. C. and J. Fraedrich: 1991,Business Ethics, (Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  11. Ferrell, O. C. and L. G. Gresham: 1985, ‘A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’,Journal of Marketing,49 (Summer), 87–96.Google Scholar
  12. Ferrell, O. C. and M. Z. Ferrell and D. Krugman: 1983, ‘A Comparison of Predictors of Ethical and Unethical Behavior among Corporate and Agency Advertising Managers’,Journal of Macromarketing 3 (Spring), 19–27.Google Scholar
  13. Francis, D. R.: 1993, ‘U.S. Interest in Ethics Greater Than Rivals’,The Christian Science Monitor 85(35), 11.Google Scholar
  14. Fritzsche, D. J. and H. Becker: 1984, ‘Linking Management Behavior to Ethical Philosophy — An Empirical Investigation’,Academy of Management Journal 27, 166–175.Google Scholar
  15. Green, P. E. and D. S. Tull: 1978,Research for Marketing Decisions 4th ed. (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ), pp. 139.Google Scholar
  16. Haire, M.: 1950, ‘Projective Techniques in Marketing Research’,Journal of Marketing 14, 649–656.Google Scholar
  17. Hegarty, W. H. and H. P. Sims: 1979, ‘Organizational Philosophy, Policies, and Objectives Related to Unethical Decision Behavior: A Laboratory Experiment’,Journal of Applied Psychology 64, 331–338.Google Scholar
  18. Hoffman, K. D., V. Howe and D. W. Hardigree: 1991, ‘Ethical Dilemmas Faced in the Selling of Complex Services: Significant Others and Competitive Pressures’,Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 11(4), 13–26.Google Scholar
  19. Howe, V., K. D. Hoffman and D. W. Hardigree: 1993, ‘The Relationship Between Ethical and Customer-Oriented Service Provider Behaviors’,Journal of Business Ethics, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  20. Hunt, S. D. and A. Z. Vasquez-Parraga: 1993, ‘Organizational Consequences, Marketing Ethics, and Salesforce Supervision’,Journal of Marketing Research 30, 78–90.Google Scholar
  21. Lane, G. S. and G. L. Watson: 1975, ‘A Canadian Replication of Maison Haire's Shopping List Study’,Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 3 (Winter), 54–59.Google Scholar
  22. Lemke, D. K. and M. Schminke: 1989, ‘Declining Ethics in Declining Organizations: An Empirical Study’,Proceedings of the Academy of Management, 448–451.Google Scholar
  23. Levy, M. and A. J. Dubinsky: 1983, ‘Identifying and Addressing Retail Salespeople's Ethical Problems: A Method and Application’,Journal of Retailing,59 (Spring), 46–66.Google Scholar
  24. Mitroff, I. I. and R. H. Kilmann: 1977, ‘Teaching Managers To Do Policy Analysis: The Case of Corporate Bribery’,California Management Review 20, 46–54.Google Scholar
  25. Moore, Jonathan: 1990a, ‘Traffic Jam’,Far Eastern Economic Review (21 June), 77–78.Google Scholar
  26. Moore, Jonathan: 1990b, ‘Reverse Gear’,Far Eastern Economic Review (21 June), 78.Google Scholar
  27. Morgan, R. B.: 1993, ‘Self- and Co-Worker Perceptions of Ethics and Their Relationships to Leadership and Salary’,Academy of Management Journal 36(1), 200–214.Google Scholar
  28. Mortensen, R. A., J. E. Smith and G. F. Cavanagh: 1989, ‘The Importance of Ethics to Job Performance: An Empirical Investigation of Managers' Perceptions’,Journal of Business Ethics 8, 253–260.Google Scholar
  29. Murphy, P. E. and G. R. Laczniak: 1981, ‘Marketing Ethics: A Review with Implications for Managers, Educators, and Researchers’,Review of Marketing 1981, B. M. Enis and K. J. Roering (eds.) (American Marketing Association, Chicago), pp. 251–266.Google Scholar
  30. O'Hara, B. S., J. S. Boles and M. W. Johnston: 1991, ‘The Influence of Personal Variables on Salesperson Selling Orientation’,Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 11 (Winter), 61–67.Google Scholar
  31. Patterson, G. A.: 1992, ‘A Car Salesman Finds It's Also Hard For Him To Get A Good Deal’,Wall Street Journal (Mar. 10), A1, A12.Google Scholar
  32. Randall, D. M. and A. M. Gibson: 1990, ‘Methodology in Business Ethics Research: A Review and Critical Assessment’,Journal of Business Ethics 9, 457–471.Google Scholar
  33. Robertson, D. C. and E. Anderson: 1993, ‘Does Opportunity Make the Thief?: How Control Systems Influence an Industrial Salesperson's Ethical Behavior’, in N. C. Smith and J. A. Quelch (eds.),Ethics In Marketing (Irwin, Homewood, IL) pp. 593–604.Google Scholar
  34. Saxe, R. and B. A. Weitz: 1982, ‘The SOCO Scale: A Measure of the Customer Orientation of Salespeople’,Journal of Marketing Research,19 (August), 343–351.Google Scholar
  35. Schneider, K. C. and J. C. Johnson: 1992, ‘Professional and Ethical Standards Among Salespeople in a Deregulated Environment: A Case Study of the Trucking Industry’,Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 12(1), 33–44.Google Scholar
  36. Singer, A. W.: 1991, ‘Ethics: Are Standards Lower Overseas?’,Across The Board 28, 31–34.Google Scholar
  37. Singhapakdi, A. and S. J. Vitell: 1991, ‘Analyzing the Ethical Decision Making of Sales Professionals’,Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 11, 1–12.Google Scholar
  38. Smith, P. C., L. M. Kendall and C. L. Hulin: 1969,The Measurement of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement (Rand McNally, Skokie, IL).Google Scholar
  39. Stertz, B. A.: 1992, ‘Detroit's New Strategy To Beat Back Japanese Is To Cope Their Ideas,’Wall Street Journal (Oct. 1), A1, A12.Google Scholar
  40. Szwajkowski, E.: 1985, ‘Organizational Illegality: Theoretical Integration and Illustrative Application’,Academy of Management Journal 10, 558–567.Google Scholar
  41. Vines, S.: 1992, ‘China, Taiwan Post Double-Digit Gains’,Automotive News (Feb. 3), 18.Google Scholar
  42. Vitell, S. J. and T. A. Festervand: 1987, ‘Business Ethics: Conflicts, Practices, and Beliefs of Industrial Executives’,Journal of Business Ethics 6, 111–122.Google Scholar
  43. Vitell, S. J. and D. L. Davis: 1990, ‘The Relationship Between Ethics and Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Investigation’,Journal of Business Ethics 9, 489–494.Google Scholar
  44. White J. B.: 1993, ‘GM's Deficit In Quarter Hit $651.8 Million’,Wall Street Journal (Feb. 12), A3, A6.Google Scholar
  45. Woodruff, D.: 1992, ‘What's This — Car Dealers With Souls?’,Business Week (April 6), 66–67.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Earl D. Honeycutt
    • 1
  • Judy A. Siguaw
    • 1
  • Tammy G. Hunt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management and Marketing, Cameron School of Business AdministrationThe University of North Carolina at WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations