Is Cross-Cultural Similarity an Indicator of Similar Marketing Ethics? [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 32 (1):55-68 (2001)
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Abstract

This study compares Australian marketers with those in the United States along lines that are particular to the study of ethics. The test measured two different moral philosophies, idealism and relativism, and compared perceptions of ethical problems, ethical intentions, and corporate ethical values. According to Hofstede's cultural typologies, there should be little difference between American and Australian marketers, but the study did find significant differences. Australians tended to be more idealistic and more relativistic than Americans and the other results were mixed, making it difficult to generalize about the effects of moral philosophies on the components of ethical decision-making measured here. This is an important finding; as firms become increasingly more globalized, marketers will more often be involved in cross-cultural ethical dilemmas and it seems natural to assume that similar cultures will have similar ethical orientations. That assumption may well prove erroneous.

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