Russian And United States Graduate Business Students Differ In Their Ethical Beliefs

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Paul Mihalek
Anne Rich
John Speir

Keywords

Russian students, Business students, student attitudes business ethics, questionnaires

Abstract

Russia, once isolated from the Western world, is now encouraging trade and direct investment. Currently, there is substantial interest by foreign investors, including those in the U.S., to invest in Russian enterprises. The increasing globalization of business, in general, and specifically with Russia, requires managers to develop a better understanding of the cultural background and ethical reasoning of the individuals who are involved in multinational business. This paper presents the results of a research study comparing Russian graduate business students with U.S. graduate business students. Survey questions were used to obtain responses related to five business activities.

The purpose of this study was to identify whether there are differences in the ethical beliefs of graduate business students in Russia and the United States. Predications of the responses were based on the four cultural dimensions delineated by Hofstede. The questions asked replicated the study conducted by Nyaw and Ng (1994) and the statistical analysis includes a discussion on outlier and bracketing effects. Our study shows differences between Russian and U.S. graduate business students in ethical behavior in the areas of job security, health and safety, tolerance for unethical behavior towards customers and suppliers and toward business rivals. However, the differences are not always predicable based on Hofstedes theories.

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