Societal-level versus individual-level predictions of ethical behavior: A 48-society study of collectivism and individualism

David A Ralston, Carolyn Egri, Olivier Furrer, Christine Kuo, Yongjuan Li, Florian Wangenheim, Marina Dabic, Irina Naoumova, Katsuhiko Shimizu, Maria Teresa De La Garza Carranza, Ping-Ping Fu, Vojko Potocan, Andre Anugerah Pekerti, Tomasz Lenartowicz, Narasimhan Srinivasan, Tania Casado, Ana Maria Rossi, Erna Szabo, Arif Butt, Ian PalmerPrem Ramburuth, David M Brock, Jane Terpstra Tong, Ilya Girson, Emmanuelle Reynaud, Malika Richards, Philip Hallinger, Francisco B Castro, Jaime Ruiz Gutierrez, Laurie Milton, Mahfooz Ansari, Arunas Starkus, Audra Irene Mockaitis, Tevfik Dalgic, Fidel Leon Darder, Jose Pla-Barber, Hung Vu Thanh, Yong-lin Moon, Mario Molteni, Yongqing Fang, Ruth Alas, Isabelle Maignan, Jorge Correia Jesuino, Chay Hoon Lee, Joel D Nicholson, Ho Beng Chia, Wade Danis, Ajantha S Dharmasiri, Mark Weber

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283 - 306
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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