This study focuses on comparison of perceptions of ethical business cultures in large business organizations from four largest emerging economies, commonly referred to as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and from the US. The data were collected from more than 13,000 managers and employees of business organizations in five countries. The study found significant differences among BRIC countries, with respondents from India and Brazil providing more favorable assessments of ethical cultures of their organizations than respondents from China and Russia. Overall, highest mean scores were provided by respondents from India, the US, and Brazil. There were significant similarities in ratings between the US and Brazil.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ahmed, M., Chung, K. Y., & Eichenseher, J. (2003). Business students’ perception of ethics and moral judgment: A cross-cultural study. Journal of Business Ethics, 43, 89–102.
Amado, G., & Brasil, H. V. (1991). Organizational behaviors and cultural context: The Brazilian “Jeitinho”. International Studies of Management and Organization, 21(3), 38–61.
Ang, S., & Leong, S. (2000). Out of the mouths of babes: Business ethics and youths in Asia. Journal of Business Ethics, 28(2), 129–144.
Ardichvili, A., & Jondle, D. (2009). Ethical business cultures: A literature review and implications for HRD. Human Resource Development Review, 8, 223–244.
Ardichvili, A., Jondle, D., & Kowske, B. (2010). Dimensions of ethical business cultures: Comparing data from 13 countries of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Human Resource Development International, 13(3), 299–315.
Ardichvili, A., Mitchell, J., & Jondle, D. (2009). Characteristics of ethical business cultures. Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 445–451.
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. (2011) 2010 report to the nations on occupational fraud and abuse. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from http://www.acfe.com.
Avtonomov, V. (2006). Balancing state, market and social justice: Russian experiences and lessons to learn. Journal of Business Ethics, 66, 3–9.
Baer, W. (2008). The Brazilian economy: Growth and development (6th ed.). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Bailey, W., & Spicer, A. (2007). When does national identity matter? Convergence and divergence in international business ethics. Academy of Management Journal, 50(6), 1462–1480.
Bedicks, H., & Arruda, M. C. (2005). Business ethics and corporate governance in Latin America. Business and Society, 44, 218–228.
Beekun, R., Westerman, J., & Barghouti, J. (2005). Utility of ethical frameworks in determining behavioral intention: A comparison of the U.S. and Russia. Journal of Business Ethics, 61, 235–247.
CEBC. (1992) The Minnesota principles: Toward an ethical basis for global business. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from http://www.cebcglobal.org/index.php?/about/the-minnesota-principles/.
Chakraborty, S. K. (1997). Business ethics in India. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(14), 1529–1538.
Chatterjee, S., & Pearson, C. (2003). Ethical perceptions of Asian managers: Evidence of trends in six divergent national contexts. Business Ethics: A European Review, 12(2), 203–211.
Cheung, C., & Chan, C. (2005). Philosophical foundations of eminent Hong Kong Chinese CEOs’ leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 60, 47–62.
Christie, P., Kwon, I., Stoeberl, P., & Baumhart, R. (2003). A cross-cultural comparison of ethical attitudes of business managers: India, Korea and the United States. Journal of Business Ethics, 46, 263–287.
CIA. (2009). World Fact Book. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html.
Cohen, D. (1993). Creating and maintaining ethical work climates: Anomie in the workplace and implications for managing change. Business Ethics Quarterly, 3(4), 343–358.
Cooper, J. (2006). Of BRICs and brains: Comparing Russia with China, India, and other populous emerging economies. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 47(3), 255–284.
Edelman. (2011). 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/.
Gold, T., Guthrie, D. T., & Wank, D. (2003). Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature of Guanxi. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Goldman Sachs. (2001). The world needs better economic BRICs. Goldman Sachs, Global Economics Paper No. 66, New York.
Griesse, M. A. (2007). The geographic, political, and economic contexts for corporate social responsibility in Brazil. Journal of Business Ethics, 73, 21–37.
Hitlin, S., & Piliavin, J. A. (2004). Values: Reviving a dormant concept. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 359–393.
Hofstede, G. (2003). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations. New Delhi: Sage.
Hwang, A., Francesco, A. M., & Kessler, E. (2003). The relationship between individualism–collectivism, face, and feedback and learning processes in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34(1), 72–91.
Instituto Brasileiro de Ética nos Negócios [IBEN]. (2009). Pesquisa de Código de Ética Corporativo no Brasil: 2009 [Survey of corporate codes of ethics in Brazil: 2009]. Revista Ética nos Negócios, 1(1), 46–70.
Ip, P.-K. (2003). Business ethics and a state-owned enterprise in China. Business Ethics: A European Review, 12(1), 64–77.
Jackson, T. (2001). Cultural values and management ethics: A 10-nation study. Human Relations, 54(10), 1267–1302.
Jondle, D., & Shoemake, R. (2006). Assessing the good company: Sixth International Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education. Pontificia Universita San Tommaso, Rome, Italy.
Kaptein, M. (2004). Business codes of multinational firms: What do they say? Journal of Business Ethics, 50, 13–31.
Kimes, M. (2009). Brazil’s big bounce. Fortune, 9, 31–35.
Kjellin, L., & Nilstun, T. (1993). Medical and social paternalism: Regulation of and attitudes towards compulsory psychiatric care. Acta-Psychiatrica-Scandinavica, 88(6), 415–419.
Koehn, D. (2001). Confucian trustworthiness and the practice of business in China. Business Ethics Quarterly, 11(3), 415–429.
Li, W., Ardichvili, A., Maurer, M., Wentling, T., & Stuedemann, R. (2007). Impact of Chinese culture values on knowledge sharing through online communities of practice. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 3(3), 46–59.
McCarthy, D., & Puffer, S. (2008). Interpreting the ethicality of corporate governance decisions in Russia: Utilizing integrative social contracts theory to evaluate the relevance of agency theory norms. Academy of Management Review, 33(1), 11–31.
Mele, D., Debeljuh, P., & Arruda, M. C. (2006). Corporate ethics policies in large corporations in Argentina, Brazil, and Spain. Journal of Business Ethics, 63, 21–38.
Michaelson, C. (2010). Revisiting the global business ethics question. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(2), 237–251.
Mitchell, J. (2001). The Ethical Advantage: Why Ethical Leadership Is Good Business. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Ethical Business Cultures.
Mueller, C., & Baer, W. (1998). The economy: Historical background and economic growth. In R. Hudson (Ed.), Brazil: A Country Study (pp. 157–208). Washington, DC: Federal Research Division.
Page, J. A. (1995). The Brazilians. Reading, MA: Addison-Wiley.
Palazzo, B. (2002). U.S.-American and German business ethics: An intercultural comparison. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(3), 195–216.
Paula, M. (2009). A formacao universitaria no Brasil: Concepcoes e influencias [University education in Brazil: Concepts and influences]. Avaliacao (Campinas), 14(1), 71–84.
Provis, C. (2008). Guanxi and conflicts of interest. Journal of Business Ethics, 79(1–2), 57–68.
Ralston, D. (2008). The crossvergence perspective: Reflections and projections. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 27–40.
Robertson, C., Gilley, M., & Street, M. (2003). The relationship between ethics and firm practices in Russia and the United States. Journal of World Business, 38, 375–384.
Robertson, C., Olson, B., Gilley, M., & Bao, Y. (2008). A cross-cultural comparison of ethical orientations and willingness to sacrifice ethical standards: China versus Peru. Journal of Business Ethics, 81, 413–425.
Rossi, J. L. Jr. (2009). What is the value of corporate social responsibility? An answer from Brazilian sustainability index. Journal of International Business and Economics, 9(3), 169–178.
Ryan, L. (2005). Codes of ethics. In P. Werhane & E. Freeman (Eds.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management: Business Ethics (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schein, E. H. (1990). Organization culture. American Psychologist, 45(2), 109–119.
Schein, E. H. (2006). So how can you assess your corporate culture? In J. Gallos (Ed.), Organization Development: A Jossey-Bass Reader (pp. 614–633). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Seshadri, D., Raghavan, A., & Hegde, S. (2007). Business ethics: The next frontier for globalizing Indian companies. Vikalpa, 32(2), 61–79.
Sheth, J. (2008). Chindia Rising: How India and China Will Benefit Your Business. New Delhi: Tata Mac-Graw Hill.
Steel, R., & Torrie, J. (1980). Principles and procedures of statistics: A biometrical approach. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Su, C., & Littlefield, J. E. (2001). Entering Guanxi: A Business Ethical Dilemma in Mainland China? Journal of Business Ethics, 33(3), 199–210.
Tanure, B., & Duarte, R. G. (2005). Leveraging competitiveness upon national cultural traits: The management of people in Brazilian companies. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(12), 2201–2217.
Transparency International. (2010). Transparency international corruption perceptions index 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from www.transparency.org/.
Trevino, L., & Nelson, K. (2004). Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How to Do It Right. New York: Wiley.
Trevino, L., & Weaver, G. R. (2001). The role of human resources in ethics/compliance management: A fairness perspective. Human Resource Management Review, 11(1), 113–134.
Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (1998). Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Tsalikis, J., & Seaton, B. (2007). The international business ethics index: The European Union. Journal of Business Ethics, 75, 229–238.
Tsalikis, J., & Seaton, B. (2008). The international business ethics index: Japan. Journal of Business Ethics, 80, 379–385.
Tsalikis, J., Seaton, B., & Li, T. (2008). The international business ethics index: Asian emerging economies. Journal of Business Ethics, 80, 643–651.
United States Department of State. (2010). Background note: Brazil. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35640.htm.
United States Sentencing Commission. (2004). 2004 Federal sentencing guidelines: Effective compliance and ethics program. Retrieved November 27, 2007, from http://www.ussc.gov/2004guid/8b2_1.htm.
Warren, D. E., Dunfree, T. W., & Li, N. (2004). Social exchange in China: The double-edged sword of Guanxi. Journal of Business Ethics, 55(4), 355–372.
Xin, K. R., & Pearce, J. L. (1996). Guanxi: Connections as substitutes for formal institutional support. Academy of Management Journal, 39(6), 1641–1658.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Ardichvili, A., Jondle, D., Kowske, B. et al. Ethical Cultures in Large Business Organizations in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. J Bus Ethics 105, 415–428 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0976-9
- Ethical business culture
- Business ethics