Abstract

Most studies about ethical decision making in the international arena come from the lens of the large multinational corporation. Little research attention has been focused on entrepreneurs’ ethics in international situations. This paper studies the following questions: 1) How do entrepreneurs reason when faced with international ethical and cultural dilemmas? and 2) What differences exist in the reasoning patterns of entrepreneurs as compared to nonbusiness adults in the general population?

The conceptual framework used in this study is Turiel’s social cognitive domain theory, which distinguishes among the individual’s concepts of cultural conventions, morality, and issues of personal discretion. In generating business decisions, international entrepreneurs weigh and negotiate the competing dimensions of conventional norms and customary ways of doing business with their own notions of what is objectively moral.

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