Forschungsprojekt „Business Ethics in China“

Research Project „Business Ethics in China“

  1. Research Design and Findings

In a sample of 316 Chinese MBA students, the influence of Time Perspective on two types of unethical behaviors was tested. We differentiated between rule-based and social-concern issues. Time Perspective was measured by using a Chinese version of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory. Participants’ evaluation of the issues as ethical—or unethical—and their behavioral intention to violate business ethics were measured. For evaluation of rule-based issues, Past-Positive, Present-Hedonistic and Future significantly influenced in the predicted direction, whereas no significant effects of time perspectives for social concern issues were observed. According to behavioral intention, only Present-Fatalistic reached significance for both types of ethical issues in the predicted direction. Further, it was shown in a mediation-model that the influence of DBTP on behavioral intention to show unethical practices is mediated by the evaluation as ethical/unethical in the case of rule-based issues (in the case of social concern, the factors reached no significance or only nearby significances, respectively). Chinese managers with a high deviation from a balanced time perspective showed reduced evaluation of unethical practices as unethical, and an enhanced behavioral intention to show unethical practices. Other potential variables of influence, such as age, gender, the size of company, and the degree of globalization were considered, and their influences were controlled.

  1. Publications

Busch, R.; Unger, A; May, C.; McMahon, R.; Wang, Y.C: Characteristics of Ethical Decision Making in China – Which are the Genuine Facets of Business Ethics in Chinese Culture, in: Rövekamp, F.; Bosse, F. (Eds). 2013. Ethics in Science and Society: German and Japanese View. Judicium. München. pp. 145-161.

Unger, A., Yan, J. & Busch, R. 2016. The Relationship Between the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory and Violations of Business Ethics in China: Unbalanced Time Perspective Increases the Acceptance of Unethical Business behavior. Time & Society, (2) 1–24.

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