International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Information Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Study of Ethical Decision-Making between U.S. and Chinese Business Students
Xin Liu, Yishan Chen

The purpose of this study is to explore cross-cultural differences between U.S. and Chinese business students in their rationales for ethical decision-makingwith respect tocommon information-related ethical dilemmas. Wefound thatthe dimensions (i.e., moral equity, relativism, egoism, contractualism, and utilitarianism) of the multidimensional ethics scale (MES) had varying influences on the ethical decision-making of the U.S. and Chinese students, even though the studentshadfairly similar intentions regardingundertakingthe described unethical actions. Specifically, the ethical decision-making of the U.S. studentswas primarily related to the moral equity dimension, whereas the utilitarianism dimension heavily impacted the ethical decision-making of the Chinese students. Wealsofound that the female students, regardless of theircultural background, had a higher social desirability bias and were more ethicalthan the male students. The implications of these findings for practitioners and for ethical education are discussed.

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