Values and the Perceived Importance of Ethics and Social Responsibility: The U.S. versus China

Journal of Business Ethics 70 (3):265-284 (2007)
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Abstract

This study examines the effects of nationality (U.S. vs. China) and personal values on managers’ responses to the Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility (PRESOR) scale. Evidence that China’s transition to a socialist market economy has led to widespread business corruption, led us to hypothesize that People’s Republic of China (PRC) managers would believe less strongly in the importance of ethical and socially responsible business conduct. We also hypothesized that after controlling for national differences, managers’ personal values (more specifically, self-transcendence values) would have a significant impact on PRESOR responses. The hypotheses were tested using a sample of practicing managers enrolled in part-time MBA programs in the two countries. The results indicate that nationality did not have a consistent impact on PRESOR responses. After controlling for national differences, self-transcendence values had a significant positive impact on two of the three PRESOR dimensions. Conservation values such as conformity and tradition also had a significant association with certain dimensions of the PRESOR scale.

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