Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 149–165 | Cite as

The Importance of gender Across Cultures in Ethical Decision-making

  • Maria L. Roxas
  • Jane Y. Stoneback


Business ethics attracts increasing attention from business practitioners and academic researchers. Concerns over fraudulent behavior keep attentionfocused on ethics in businesses. The accounting profession pays particularattention to matters of ethical judgment. The profession has adopted a strictcode of conduct and many states require the passage of an ethics exam to gaincertification. The more that is understood about the relationship of gender and ethics, the better chance of education and training programs will bedesigned to improve ethical awareness and sensitivity. Prior studies have found that personal characteristics are an important aspect of cultural norms.This study analyzes the responses of students from eight different countries toquestions on their probable actions to an ethical dilemma.

accounting and decision-making culture ethics gender 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ameen, E., D. Guffey and J. McMillan: 1996, ‘Gender Differences in Determining the Ethical Sensitivity of Future Accounting Professionals’, Journal of Business Ethics 15, 591–597.Google Scholar
  2. Betz, M., L. O'Connell and J. Shepherd: 1989, ‘Gender Differences in Proclivity for Unethical Behavior’, Journal of Business Ethics 8, 321–324.Google Scholar
  3. Borkowski, S. and Y. Ugras: 1998, ‘Business Students and Ethics: A Meta-analysis’, Journal of Business Ethics 17, 1117–1127.Google Scholar
  4. Boyacigiller, N. and N. Adler: 1991, ‘The Parochial Dinosaur: The Organizational Sciences in a Global Context’, Academy of Management Review 16, 262–290.Google Scholar
  5. Buller, P., J. Kohls and K. Anderson: 1991, ‘The Challenge of Global Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, 767–775.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, D.: 2000, ‘The Quest to Improve the Human Condition: The First 1,500 Articles Published in Journal of Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 26, 1–73.Google Scholar
  7. David, J., J. Kantor and I. Greenberg: 1994, ‘Possible Ethical Issues and Their Impact on the Firm: Perceptions Held by Public Accountants’, Journal of Business Ethics 13, 919–937.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, J. and R. Welton: 1991, ‘Professional Ethics: Business Students' Perceptions’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, 451–463.Google Scholar
  9. Dawson, L.: 1995, ‘Women and Men, Morality and Ethics’, Business Horizons, 61–68.Google Scholar
  10. Ekin, M., G. Serap and S. Tezolmez: 1999, ‘Business Ethics in Turkey: An Empirical Investigation with Special Emphasis on Gender’, Journal of Business Ethics 18, 17–34.Google Scholar
  11. Ferrell, O. and L. Gresham: 1985, ‘A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’, Journal of Marketing 49, 87–96.Google Scholar
  12. Galbraith, S. and H. Stephenson: 1993, ‘Decision Rules Used by Male and Female Business Students in Making Ethical Value Judgements: Another Look’, Journal of Business Ethics 12, 227–233.Google Scholar
  13. Gilligan, C.: 1982, In A Different Voice (Harvard University Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  14. Harris, J.: 1989, ‘Ethical Values and Decision Processes of Male and Female Business Students’, Journal of Business Ethics 8, 234–238.Google Scholar
  15. Harris, J. and C. Sutton: 1995, ‘Unravelling the Ethical Decision-making Process: Clues from an Empirical Study Comparing Fortune 1000 Executives and MBA Students’, Journal of Business Ethics 14, 805–817.Google Scholar
  16. Hoffman, J.: 1998, ‘Are Women Really More Ethical Than Men? Maybe it depends on the Situation’, Journal of Managerial Issues 10, 60–73.Google Scholar
  17. Hofstedde, G.: 1980, Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values (Sage, Beverly Hills).Google Scholar
  18. Hunt, S. and S. Vitell: 1986, ‘A General Theory of Marketing Ethics’, Journal of Business of Macromarketing 6, 5–16.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, G. and M. Kavanaugh: 1996, ‘An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Individual and Situational Factors on Unethical Behavioral Intentions in the Workplace’, Journal of Business Ethics 15, 511–523.Google Scholar
  20. Khazanchi, D.: 1995, ‘Unethical Behavior in Information Systems: The Gender Factor’, Journal of Business Ethics 14, 741–749.Google Scholar
  21. Kohlberg, L.: 1969, ‘Stage and Sequence: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Socialization’, in A. Goslin (ed.), Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research (Rand McNally, Chicago).Google Scholar
  22. Kohlberg, L.: 1984, ‘The Psychology of Moral Development’, in Essays on Moral Development, Volume 2 (Harper and Row, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  23. Lane, J.: 1995, ‘Ethics of Business Students: Some Marketing Perspectives’, Journal of Business Ethics 14, 571–580.Google Scholar
  24. Langdale, C.: 1983, Moral Orientations and Moral Development: The Analysis of Care and Justice Reasoning Across Different Dilemmas in Females from Childhood to Adulthood. Doctoral Dissertation, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  25. Luthar, H., R. DiBattista and T. Gautschi: 1997, ‘Perception of What Ethical Climate is and What it Should Be’, Journal of Business Ethics 16, 205–217.Google Scholar
  26. Lyons, N.: 1983, ‘The Perspectives: On Self, Relationships, and Morality’, Harvard Educational Review 53, 125–145.Google Scholar
  27. Maher, K. and J. Bailey: 1999, ‘The Effects of Transgressor Sex on Judgements of Unethical Behavior’, Journal of Business Ethics 18, 157–171.Google Scholar
  28. Malinowski, C. and K. Berger: 1996, ‘Undergraduate Attitudes About Hypothetical Marketing Dilemmas’, Journal of Business Ethics 15, 525–535.Google Scholar
  29. Mason, E. and P. Mudrack: 1997, ‘Do Complex Moral Reasoners Experience Greater Ethical Work Conflict?’, Journal of Business Ethics 16, 1311–1318.Google Scholar
  30. McCuddy and B. Peery: 1996, ‘Selected Individual Differences and Collegians' Ethical Beliefs’, Journal of Business Ethics 15, 261–272.Google Scholar
  31. McNichols, C. and T. Zimmerer: 1985, ‘Situational Ethics: An Empirical Study of Differentiators of Student Attitudes’, Journal of Business Ethics 4, 175–180.Google Scholar
  32. Peek, L., G. Peek and M. Horras: 1994, ‘Enhancing Arthur Andersen Business Ethics Vignettes: Group Discussions Using Cooperative/Collaborative Learning Techniques’, Journal of Business Ethics 13(4), 189–197.Google Scholar
  33. Poorsoltan, K., S. Amin and A. Tootoonchi: 1991, ‘Business Ethics: Views of Future Leaders’, Advanced Management Journal, 4–9.Google Scholar
  34. Prasad, J., N. Marlow and R. Hattwick: 1998, ‘Gender-Based Differences in Perception of a Just Society’, Journal of Business Ethics 17, 219–228.Google Scholar
  35. Reiss, M. and K. Mitra: 1998, ‘The Effects of Individual Difference Factors on the Acceptability of Ethical and Unethical Workplace Behaviors’, Journal of Business Ethics 17, 1581–1593.Google Scholar
  36. Roxas, M. and J. Stoneback: 1997, ‘An Investigation of the Ethical Decision-Making Process Across Varying Cultures’, The International Journal of Accounting 32(4), 503–536.Google Scholar
  37. Ruegger, D. and E. King: 1992, ‘A Study of the Effect of Age and gender upon Student Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 11, 179–186.Google Scholar
  38. Serwinek, P.: 1992, ‘Demographic and Related Differences in Ethical Views Among Small Businesses’, Journal of Business Ethics 11, 555–566.Google Scholar
  39. Shaub, M., D. Finn and P. Munter: 1993, ‘The Effect of Auditor's Ethical Orientation on Commitment and Ethical Sensitivity’, Behavioral Research in Accounting 5, 145–169.Google Scholar
  40. Sikula, A. and A. Costa: 1994, ‘Are Women More Ethical Than Men’, Journal of Business Ethics 13, 859–871.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, P. and E. Oakley: 1997, ‘Gender-Related Differences in Ethical and Social Values of Business Students' Implications for Management’, Journal of Business Ethics 16, 185–194.Google Scholar
  42. Stanga, K. and R. Turpen: 1991, ‘Ethical Judgements on Selected Accounting Issues: An Empirical Study’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, 739–747.Google Scholar
  43. Trompenaars, F.: 1994, Riding the Waves of Culture (Irwin, Chicago).Google Scholar
  44. Tsalikis, J. and M. Ortiz-Buonafina: 1990, ‘Ethical Beliefs' Differences of Males and Females’, Journal of Business Ethics 9, 509–517.Google Scholar
  45. Vorherr, P. H., J. A. Patrick, James F. Quinn and Thomas J. Brady: 1995, ‘The Impact of Gender and Major on Ethical Perceptions of Business Students: Management Implications for the Accounting Profession’, Journal of Academy of Business Administration (Spring), 46–66.Google Scholar
  46. Weeks, W., C. Moore, J. McKinney and J. Longnecker: 1999, ‘The Effects of Gender and Career Stage on Ethical Judgment’, Journal of Business Ethics 20, 301–313.Google Scholar
  47. Whipple, Thomas W. and Dominic F. Swords: 1992, ‘Business Ethics Judgments: A Cross-Cultural Comparison’, Journal of Business Ethics 11, 671–678.Google Scholar
  48. White, Louis P. and Melanie J. Rhodeback: 1992, ‘Ethical Dilemmas in Organization Development: A Cross-Cultural Analysis’, Journal of Business Ethics 11, 663–670.Google Scholar
  49. Yankelovich, D.: 1972, The Changing Values on Campus: Personal and Political Attitudes of Today's College Students (Simon and Schuster, New York).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria L. Roxas
    • 1
  • Jane Y. Stoneback
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AccountingCentral Connecticut State UniversityNew BritainUSA

Personalised recommendations