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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 139–159 | Cite as

The Influence of Nationality and Gender on Ethical Sensitivity: An Application of the Issue-Contingent Model

  • Can Simga-MuganEmail author
  • Bonita A. Daly
  • Dilek Onkal
  • Lerzan Kavut
Article

Abstract

When a member of an organization has to make a decision or act in a way that may benefit some stakeholders at the expense of others, ethical dilemmas may arise. This paper examines ethical sensitivity regarding the duties to clients and owners (principals), employees (agents), and responsibilities to society (third parties). Within this framework, ethical perceptions of male and female managers are compared between the U.S. and Turkey – two countries that differ on power distance as well as the individualism/collectivism dimensions. Our results show that ethical sensitivity varies depending upon whether the interests of principals, agents, or third parties are affected by a given ethical dilemma. We also find that, contingent upon the principal-agent–society relationships, the nationality and gender of the decision-maker influences ethical sensitivity.

Keywords

context cross-cultural ethics ethical sensitivity gender Hofstede issue-contingent model Kohlberg  nationality roles 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Can Simga-Mugan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bonita A. Daly
    • 2
  • Dilek Onkal
    • 3
  • Lerzan Kavut
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.School of BusinessUniversity of Southern Maine PortlandUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Business AdministrationBilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Faculty of Business AdministrationIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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