Business Ethics Across Cultures Essay

The first article chosen was An Exploration of Ethical Decision-making Processes in the United States and Egypt (2008) written by Beekun, R. I. , Hamdy, R. , Westerman, J. W. , HassabElnaby, H. R. This article was survey of 191 Egyptian and 92 United States executives and explored the relationship between national culture and ethical decision-making. Reidenbach and Robin’s (1988) multi-criteria ethics instruments were used to examine how two of Hofstede’s national culture deminsions, individualism, and collectivism.

Also, the manner in which business professionals make ethical decisions (Beekun, Hamdy, Westerman, & HassanElnaby, 2008). Extreme differences in economics and related business development in the United States and Egypt is shown here. The authors write that the United States are individualistic, low in power distance and more unethical than Egypt. Egypt is more collective and high power distance. This makes an interesting comparison. Both Egypt and the United States rely on justice, utilitarianism and relativism in prediting their intentions to behave ethically.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

They state that Americans substitute egoism for justice when the behavorial intentions of peers are examined. Transparency International’s 2005 Coruption Perceptions Indexes, with 10 highly clean and 0 highly corrupt, shows the United States at 7. 6 and Egypt at 3. 4 (Beekun, Hamdy, Westerman, & HassanElnaby, 2008). Primary ethical issues of Egypt consist of embezzlement, tax and customs evasion, illegal currency transactions, smuggling and trading contraband, diversion of subsidized goods, leakages from free trade zones, kickbacks and bribes to officials.

These white collar ethical issues have run ramant in Egypt since the time of Sarat (Beekun, Hamdy, Westerman, & HassanElnaby, 2008). Beekum, Hamdy, Westerman, and HassanElnaby (2008, p 589) contributed to the understanding global ethical perspectives by revealing that Egypt is more collectivism and that its culture has been dominated by ruling elites, initially colonial forces, followed by the monarchy then by the Socialist and current party leaders.

In this comparison of ethical decision-making, Egypt shows more than twice the corruption as the United States according to CPI. Egypt and United States business ethics are much the same, yet are quite different. The severity of unethical white collar ethical issues in Egypt mentioned earlier exist but are not as severe in the United States. Both Americans and Egyptians rely on justice, utilitarianism and relativism in predicting their intentions to behave ethically.

Americans substitute egoism for justice when the behavioral intentions of peers are examined (Beekun, Hamdy, Westerman, & HassanElnaby, 2008). The second article chosen Ethical codes of Conduct in Irish Companies: A Survey of Codecontent and Enforcement Procedures written by Brendan O’Dwyer, Grainne Madden (2006). This article examines if Ireland-based companies were making attempts to promote ethical behavior in their organizations through the use of codes of conduct because of the concerns of business berhavior in the past decade.

Their survey has proved that business behavior had improved from 1995 to 2000 on issues surrounding company and employee protection as opposed to society protection with employee confidentiality adherence to the law, health and safety and the protection of company information (O’Dwyer ; Madden, 2006). Sixty-two percent report violations of the code of ethics to designated employees rather than formal channels. Formal discilinary procedures suggesting support for established codes. The primary issues of Ireland are business behavior, code of ethics for organizations and disciplinary procedures.

Business behavior is unethical in many ways, the code of ethics is written by single members of management instead of a human resources team. Most violations are reported to a designated employee and disiplinary procedure is lacking professionalism (O’Dwyer & Madden, 2006). The article written by O’Dwyer and Madden (2006) contributes to the understanding of global ethical perspective by addressing the importance of business ethics, company codes of conduct, code of ethics and corporate social responsibility not only in Ireland but also throughout the world.

A corporate and human resources team should compose a code of conduct or ethics for an organization instead of a single member of management (O’Dwyer ; Madden, 2006). Both Ireland and the United States have codes of conduct and ethics in organizations and take disciplinary actions when violated. The United States of America has laws supporting business ethics and most United States companies have formal channels for reporting violations where 62% if Ireland companies do not.

United States instruction of new staff on codes are prevelant, Ireland’s is not (O’Dwyer & Madden, 2006). Through the review of these articles, knowledge of ethical issues involved in globalization has become clearer. Globalization is not new to any country and should be repected and honored throughout the world. Whether in Egypt, Ireland or the United States of America, organizations should have a code of ethics for all employees; it should be taught to all new employees and reviewed often. Disciplinary action should be administered immediately and not left until information is stale.


Beekun, R. I. , Hamdy, R. , Westerman, J. W. , & HassanElnaby, H. R. (2008, October). A Exploration of Ethical Decision-making Processes in the United States and Egypt. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(3), 587-605. O’Dwyer, B. , ; Madden, G. (2006, February). Ethical Codes of Conduct in Irish Companies: A Survey of Code Content and Enforcement Procedures. Journal of Business Ethics, 63(3), 217-236.