Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 1163–1173 | Cite as

Ethical Beliefs and Management Behaviour: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

  • Terence Jackson
  • Marian Calafell Artola


A cross-cultural empirical study is reported in this article which looks at ethical beliefs and behaviours among French and German managers, and compares this with previous studies of U.S. and Israeli managers using a similar questionnaire. Comparisons are made between what managers say they believe, and what they do, between managers and their peers' attitudes and behaviours, and between perceived top management attitudes and the existence of company policy. In the latter, significant differences are found by national ownership of the company rather than the country in which it is situated. Significant differences are found, for both individual managers by nationality, and for companies by nationality of parents, in the area of ‘organizational loyalty’. The attitude towards accepting gifts and favours in exchange for preferential treatment, as a measure of ‘societal values’, is also found to show significant differences between national groups. However, no significant differences are found for measures for ‘group loyalty’, ‘conflict between organizational and group loyalty’ and for ‘conflicts between self and group/organization’. The findings have implications for cross-border management decision strategies regarding such issues as receiving and giving of gifts, and the management of relations between local employees and international organizations which may be affected by differences in attitude to corporate loyalty.


Organizational Loyalty Preferential Treatment Management Behaviour Decision Strategy Management Attitude 
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. Armstrong, R. W. and J. Sweeney: 1994, ‘Industrial Type, Culture, Mode of Entry and Perceptions of International Marketing Ethics Problems: A Cross-Cultural Comparison’, Journal of Business Ethics 13(10), 775–785.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, H. and D. J. Fritzsche: 1987a, ‘Business Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Managers Attitudes’, Journal of Business Ethics 6, 289–295.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, H. and D. J. Fritzsche: 1987b, ‘A Comparison of the Ethical Behavior of American, French and German Managers’, Columbia Journal of World Business (Winter), 87–95.Google Scholar
  4. Berleant, A.: 1982, ‘Multinationals and the Problem of Ethical Consistency’, Journal of Business Ethics 3, 185–195.Google Scholar
  5. Donaldson, T.: 1985, ‘Multinational Decision-Making: Reconciling International Norms’, Journal of Business Ethics 4, 354–367.Google Scholar
  6. Donaldson, T.: 1989, The Ethics of International Business (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  7. Donaldson, J.: 1992, Business Ethics: A European Casebook (Academic Press, London).Google Scholar
  8. Ferrell, O. C. and K. M. Weaver: 1978, ‘Ethical Beliefs of Marketing Managers’, Journal Marketing 42(3), 69–73.Google Scholar
  9. Hofmann, W. M. et al. (eds.): 1986, Ethics and the Multinational Enterprise (University Press of America, Lanham, MD).Google Scholar
  10. Hofstede, G.: 1991, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (McGraw-Hill, London).Google Scholar
  11. Izraeli, D.: 1988, ‘Ethical Beliefs and Behaviours Among Managers: A Cross-Cultural Comparison’, Journal of Business Ethics 7, 263–271.Google Scholar
  12. Kohls, J. and P. Buller: 1994, ‘Resolving Cross-Cultural Conflict: Exploring Alternative Strategies’, Journal of Business Ethics 13, 31–38.Google Scholar
  13. Lane, H. W. and D. G. Simpson: 1980, ‘Bribery in International Business: Whose Problem Is It?’, Journal of Business Ethics 3, 118–137.Google Scholar
  14. Langlois, C. C. and Schlegelmilch: 1990, ‘Do Corporate Codes of Ethics Reflect National Character? Evidence from Europe and the United States’, Journal of International Business Studies, (Fourth Quarter), 519–539.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, K. H.: 1982, ‘Ethical Beliefs in Marketing Management: A Cross-Cultural Study’, European Journal of Marketing, 58–67.Google Scholar
  16. Lysonski, S. and W. Gaidis: 1991, ‘A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Ethics of Business Students’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, 141–150.Google Scholar
  17. Newstrom, J. W. and W. A. Ruch: 1975, ‘The Ethics of Management and the Management of Ethics’, MSU Business Topics (Winter), 29–37.Google Scholar
  18. Simpson, J. R. 1982, ‘Ethics and Multinational Corporations vis-a-vis Developing Nations’, Journal of Business Ethics 1, 227–237.Google Scholar
  19. Swinyard, W. R., H. Rinne and A. Keng Kau: 1990, ‘The Morality of Software Piracy: A Cross-Cultural Comparison’, Journal of Business Ethics 9, 655–664.Google Scholar
  20. Tijmstra, S. and K. Casler: 1992, ‘Management Learning for Europe’, European Management Journal 10(1), 30–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Trompenaars, F. 1993, Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business (Nicholas Brealey, London).Google Scholar
  22. Tsalikis, J. and O. Nwachukwu: 1988, ‘Cross-Cultural Business Ethics: Ethical Beliefs Difference between Blacks and Whites’, Journal of Business Ethics 7, 745–754.Google Scholar
  23. van Dijck, J.: 1990, ‘Transnational Management in an Evolving European Context’, European Management Journal 8(4), 474–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Jackson
    • 1
  • Marian Calafell Artola
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Cross Cultural Management ResearchEAP European School of ManagementOxfordU.K

Personalised recommendations