The Ethical Decision Making of Men and Women Executives in International Business Situations

Journal of Business Ethics 71 (2):125-134 (2007)

Abstract

While a number of studies have examined the impact of gender/sex on ethical decision-making, the findings of this body of research do not provide consistent answers. Furthermore, very few of these studies have incorporated cross-cultural samples. Consequently, this study of 222 American and Spanish business executives explored sex differences in ethical judgments and intentions to act ethically. While no significant differences between males and females were found with respect to ethical judgments, females exhibited higher intentions to act more ethically than males. This difference was true of both U.S. and Spanish executives. Further research is warranted to develop a clearer understanding of the linkage between ethical judgment and intention to act in an ethical manner. These findings have implications for global firms, particularly regarding codes of conduct and ethics training.

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