Business ethics in Japan and Taiwan: Relativist and utilitarian perspectives

Yvonne Stedham*, Jeanne H. Yamamura, Steven Chih Chien Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Perceptions of risk associated with an international investment decision are affected by the decision maker's understanding of ethical issues within a country. This study provides insights into the foundation for ethical judgments by investigating whether and how Japanese and Taiwanese graduate business students differ in assessing the ethical content of business scenarios. Considering cultural characteristics of the two countries, differences in ethical judgments were expected. The results show that when basing ethical judgments on relativistic and utilitarian criteria, the Japanese tend to judge the scenarios as significantly more unethical than the Taiwanese. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-551
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Business Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Cultural dimensions
  • Ethical judgment
  • Japan
  • Relativist perspective
  • Taiwan
  • Utilitarian perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management


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