Since male CEOs dominate corporate leadership, the literature on top management decision making suffers from an implicit masculine bias. Although research indicates that males and females are biologically and psychologically different, the leadership characteristics of female CEOs are largely unexplored. Two of these characteristics, risk aversion and ethical sensitivity, are tied to key accounting issues, such as conservatism in financial reporting and steadfast opposition to fraud. In this study, we examine the relationship between CEO gender and accounting conservatism, and find (...) a positive association between the two. Consistent with conventional wisdom, this association appears to be stronger in firms with high rather than low litigation and takeover risks. This study contributes to the ethics literature by highlighting the benefits of gender diversity in upholding the integrity of financial reporting. (shrink)
This article introduces and summarizes selected papers from the first World Business Ethics Forum held in Hong Kong and Macau in November 2006, co-hosted by the Hong Kong Baptist University and by the University of Macau. Business Ethics in the East remain distinct from those in the West, but the distinctions are becoming less pronounced and the ethical traffic flows both ways.
This article begins with a review of the literature on the ethics of tax evasion and identifies the three main views that have emerged over the centuries, namely always ethical, sometimes ethical, and never or almost never ethical. It then reports on the results of a survey of HK and U.S. university business students who were asked to express their opinions on the 15 statements covering the three main views. The data are then analyzed to determine which of the three (...) viewpoints is dominant among the sample population. Although it was found that HK scores were significantly different from the U.S. scores, both HK and U.S. respondents were opposed to the view that tax evasion is always or almost always ethical. The strongest arguments justifying tax evasion were in cases where the government was corrupt, the tax system was unfair and unaffordable. The weakest arguments for justifying tax evasion were in cases where there was a selfish motive. The underlying cultural differences are further explored in hope of accounting for differing perceptions of ethics of tax evasion. Policy implications for increasing people’s awareness of ethics on tax evasion are also highlighted. (shrink)