Identifying Exogenous Cultural Variables in Ethical Decision Making in Negotiation: A Qualitative Study of Differences between Australia and China
12 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2003
While the importance of situational variables on ethical decision making is well established in the business ethics literature (Randall & Gibson, 1990) and the cultural psychology literature emphasises differences in how situational context is understood across cultures (Markus, Kitayama, & Heiman, 1996, Smith & Bond, 1993) the process of identifying the important situational variables that affect ethical decision making in cross-cultural negotiation has only just begun with recent studies by Volkema & Fleury, (2002) and Zarkada-Fraser & Fraser, (2001). This study seeks to expand understanding of which variables are important in negotiation by integrating the findings of the business ethics literature and the cross-cultural ethics literature with the ideas of negotiators in the People's Republic of China and Australia who were interviewed in an exploratory qualitative study. A model is proposed that identifies differences in the nature of situational variables and how they are understood in the two cultures. The variables identified are the legal environment, organisational values/policies, organisational goals/objectives, the money ethic and the perception of the other party. Future research directions to test the relationships in the model are discussed.
Keywords: Cultural exogenous variables, ethics, negotiation
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