Comparing Ethical Attitudes Across Cultures
As we all know, it is very common for businesses to interact with companies in other countries. It is found that a major difference in culture is the ethics found in different countries. Although, many different countries share views on the ethics of business, there still are many significant differences in opinion found among different countries' opinions regarding business ethics.
There were many tests and samples done in South Africa, Turkey, Israel, USA, Western Australia that were compared to more recent studies done in Jamaica, and the West Indies. Researchers compared the countries' cultures using Hofstede's four dimensions of National culture: power distance, collectivist vs individualist, femininity vs masculinity, and uncertain avoidance.
The researchers then gathered employee attitudes towards business ethics from a sample of people in each country. Some examples of things on the questionnaire are “The only moral of business is making money” or “I view sick days as vacation days that I deserve” etc.
The results suggested that the people in Jamaica and West Indies had similar views on business ethics to those living in Western Australia. Taking it a step further, they found that both Australia and Jamaica scored moderately on power distance and on masculine culture.
USA culture received a score similar to the Australian culture on all four of Hofstede's dimensions, yet Jamaica's attitudes of business ethics were extremely different towards the attitudes of those in USA. This shows that Hofstede's dimensions of national culture doesn't include the attitudes towards business ethics.
The Turkish and Israeli respondents feel more strongly than the Jamaican respondents that businesses are exempt from the common moral actions a person would behave with. For example “Moral values are irrelevant to the business…...