Ethics in Japan and South Korea, pertaining to business enterprises
Using questionnaire surveys, this study investigates ethics-related attitudes and practices in Japan and South Korea, pertaining to their business enterprises. To enable assessing ethics-perceptions changes over time, said surveys replicate similar studies, conducted in both countries 10 years prior to the current one. Namely, this article investigates (1) ethical conflicts, (2) unethical practices, (3) managers’ responses to hypothetical situations, (4) ethics standards, and (5) the institutionalization of ethics in Japan and South Korea, pertaining to business enterprises. Overall, our 2014 and 2015 survey results are reasonably similar to those of previous studies. Also observed are, however, an increase in ethics awareness among Japanese and South Korean business respondents, and an overall improvement in ethics standards in both countries. The empirical findings suggest that, through time, ethical perceptions of Japanese and South Korean business respondents seem to be converging, and coinciding with those of previous studies’ business respondents in US. Yet most persistent are some characteristics peculiar to Japan and South Korea, such as, for example situational ethics in Japan, company-interest-first in South Korea, and ethical relativism in both countries.
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