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Ethical decision–making in business: focus on Mauritius

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Abstract:

This paper explores management attitudes towards ethical issues in an attempt to shed some light on the determinants of ethical issue intensity in the context of business. A sample of business executives in Mauritius was surveyed in order to establish their ethical perceptions when exposed to potentially questionable business practices. The findings demonstrated the significant influence of factors associated with moral deliberations on strategies for ethical decision–making as compared with the impact of company policy and legal requirements. Participants revealed that, irrespective of codes of conduct, personal ethics predominate when it comes to making ethical choices. Some view the behaviour of management as a key determinant of ethical conduct. This trend differs from predictions in the literature. To date, research conducted in the developed world shows that employee perception of ethics of their superiors is a stronger predictor of behaviour than employees’ personal ethical beliefs. This article focuses on Mauritius as an emerging economy, and looks at potential strategies for ethical decision–making, where business people do not necessarily operate under a specific code of conduct.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8608.00305

Affiliations: University of Mauritius

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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