Ethical decision making in business - overview of some antecedents of individual ethical judgment

Ratka Jurković, Saša Jurković, Matea Jambrešić


The paper presents some antecedents to individual ethical judgment, a crucial component of ethical behaviour and ethical decision making in general and in particular within business context. The model of ethical judgment is presented, comprised of individual’s evaluative ethical framework and the institutions that shape it. The purpose of the paper is to elucidate on the components of the model and its use in shaping the ethical behaviour in business.


business ethics, ethical judgment, moral philosophies, culture, institutional theory


Ansbacher, H.L and Ansbacher, R.R. (eds.) (1956). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. New York: Basic Books

Barnett, T., Bass, K., Brown, G. (1996). „Religiosity, ethical ideology, and intentions to report a peer's wrongdoing“, Journal of Business Ethics

Baumhart, R. (1961). “Problems in Review: How Ethical are Businessmen?”, Harvard Business Review, 39(July-August), p. 6-9

Bowie, N.E. (1999). “A Kantian approach to business ethics”, in A Companion to Business Ethics (Frederick, R.E. ed.), Malden: Blackwell Publishing

Brinkmann, J. (2002). “Moral Reflection Differences Among Norwegian Business Students. A Presentation and Discussion of Findings”, Teaching Business Ethics, 6(1), p.83-99

Burns, J.M. 1979. Leadership. USA: Harper Torchbooks

Carroll, A.B, Brown J.A and Buchholtz, A.K. (2018). Business and Society: Ethics, Sustainability and Stakeholder Management (10th ed), Boston: Cengage Learning

Christie, P.M.J., Kwon, I.G, Stoeberl, P.A. and Baumhart, R. (2003). “ A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Ethical Attitudes of Business Managers: India, Korea and the United States”, Journal of Business Ethics, 46, p.263-87

Ferrel, O.C. and Gresham, L.G. (1985). “A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing”, Journal of Marketing, 49(3), p. 87-96

Fletcher, J. (1966). Situation Ethics. Philadelphia: Westminster Press

Ford, R.C. and Richardson, W.D. (1994). “Ethical Decision Making: A Review of the Empirical Literature”, Journal of Business Ethics, 13(3), p.205-21

Forsyth, D.R. (1980). “A Taxonomy of Ethical Ideologies”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(1), p. 175-84

Gordon, M.M. (1964). Assimilation in American Life. New York: Oxford University Press

Harvey, P. (2000). Introduction to Buddhist Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London: McGraw-Hill

Hofstede, G. (1985). “The Interaction Between National and Organizational Value Systems”, Journal of Management Studies, 22(4), p. 347-57

Hofstede, G. (1984). Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values (Abridged edition). London: Sage Publications

Hunt, S.D. and Vitell, S. (1993). “The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Retrospective and Revision”, in Ethics in Marketing (Smith, N.C. and Quelch, J.A. eds.), Homewood: Irwin, p. 775-84

Hunt, S.D. and Vitell, S. (1986). “A General Theory of Marketing Ethics”, Journal of Macromarketing, Spring, p.5-16

Jones, T.M. (1991). “Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Issue-Contingent Model”, The Academy of Management Review, 16(2), p. 366-95

Keesing, R.M. (1981). Cultural anthropology : a contemporary perspective. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Keown, D. (1992). The Nature of Buddhist Ethics. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Laroche, M., Papadopoulos, N., Heslop, L. and Bergeron, J.(2002). “Effects of subcultural differences on country and product evaluations”, Journal of Consumer Behavior, 2(3), p. 232-247

Lenartowicz, T., Johnson, J. P. and White, C.T. (2003). “The neglect of intra-country cultural variation in international management research”, Journal of Business Research, 56(12), p. 999-1008

Lenartowicz, T. and Roth, K. (2001). “Does subculture within a country matter? A cross-cultural study of motivational domains and business performance in Brazil”, Journal of International Business Studies, 32(2), p. 305-25

MacIntyre, A. (1994). After virtue: a study of moral theory (2nd ed.). London: Duckworth

Nichols, D.P. and Stults, D.M. (2001). “Moral Reasoning: Defining Issues in Open and Closed Belief Systems”, The Journal of Social Psychology, 125(4), p.535-36

North, D.C. (1981). Structure and Change in Economic History. New York: W.W. Norton and Company

North, D.C. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Reidenbach, R.E. and Robin, D.P. (1990). “Toward the Development of a Multidimensional Scale for Improving Evaluations of Business Ethics”, Journal of Business Ethics, 9(8), p. 639-53

Rokeach, M. (1972). Beliefs, Attitudes and Values. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Schlenker, B.M. and Forsyth, D.R. (1977). “On the Ethics of Psychological Research”, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, p. 369-396

Schwartz, S.H. (1994). “Are There Universal Aspects in the Structure and Content of Human Values?”, Journal of Social Issues, 50(4), p. 19-45

Snoeyenbos, M. and Humber, J. (1999). “Utilitarianism and business ethics”, in A Companion to Business Ethics (Frederick, R.E. ed.), Malden: Blackwell Publishing

Swidler, A. (2001). Talk Love: How Culture Matters. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Swidler, A. (1986). “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies”, American Sociological Review, 51(April), p. 273-86

Taylor, P.W. (1975). Principles of Ethics: An Introduction. Encino, Dickenson Pub.

Trevino, L.K and Nelson, K.A. (2017). Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How To Do It Right (7th edition). New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Trevino, L.K. (1986). “Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-Situation Interactionist Model”, Academy of Management Review, 11(3), p. 601-17

Vitell, S.J. and Paolillo, J.G.P. (2003). “Consumer Ethics: The Role of Religiosity”, Journal of Business Ethics, 46(2), p.151-162

Vitell, S.J., Paolillo, J.G.P. and Thomas, J.L. (2003). “The perceived role of ethics and social responsibility: A study of marketing professionals”, Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(1), p.63-81

Vitell, S.J., Nwachukwu, S.L. and Barnes, J.H. (1993). “The Effects of Culture on Ethical Decision Making: An Application of Hofstede’s Typology”, Journal of Business Ethics, 12(10), p. 753-60

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.