South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 11, No 2 (2008)

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Examining the ethical predisposition of the next generation of business leaders in China and the Republic of South Africa

Sam Fullerton, Christo Bisschoff, David L Moore

Abstract


This study was undertaken in an effort to determine the attitudes of business students in South Africa and China toward a battery of questionable actions undertaken by anonymous business entities.  In general, practices such as the outsourcing of labour and celebrity endorsements met with little opposition on the part of the students.  Conversely, actions such as the shipment of unsafe products to overseas markets and a doctor smuggling a potentially beneficial (but illegal) drug across international borders in an effort to help a patient were strongly condemned.  A comparison of the means of the 14 scenarios resulted in statistically significant differences for the two countries on eight of the questionable actions.  In seven of the eight, the South Africans exhibited stronger opposition (or a lower level of support for) the behaviour of the organization.  Furthermore, the grand means for the two countries also favored the RSA as the country with the higher ethical predisposition.

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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)