The Relationship between Social Cynicism Belief, Social Dominance Orientation, and the Perception of Unethical Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Examination in Russia, Portugal, and the United States
AbstractMost studies investigating the relationship between cultural constructs and ethical perception have focused on individual- and societal-level values without much attention to other type of cultural constructs such as social beliefs. In addition, we need to better understand how social beliefs are linked to ethical perception and the level of analysis at which social beliefs may best predict ethical perceptions. This research contributes to the cross-cultural ethical perception literature by examining the relationship of individual-level social cynicism belief, one of five universally endorsed social beliefs, together with individual social dominance orientation and the perception of unethical behavior. By means of two studies, we examine these relationships across societies that significantly differ on societal-level social cynicism belief. Using 371 business students from Russia and the U.S. in Study 1 and 268 professionals from Portugal and the U.S. in Study 2, we found that individual-level social cynicism belief was positively associated with social dominance orientation. Social dominance orientation, in turn, mediated the relationship between individual social cynicism belief and the perception of unethical behavior. Although we found significant societal-level differences in social cynicism belief in both studies, the relationships between individual-level social cynicism belief, social dominance orientation, and the perception of unethical behavior were structurally equivalent across societies in both studies, suggesting that societal-level differences did not significantly affect these relationships. Implications for cross-cultural business ethics research and practice are discussed.
Grissom, V, Torres, MM, Kovbasyuk, O, Addo, TBA and Ferreira, MC (2015) The Relationship between Social Cynicism Belief, Social Dominance Orientation, and the Perception of Unethical Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Examination in Russia, Portugal, and the United States. Journal of Business Ethics. ISSN 0167-4544