Ethics and business communication: A cross-cultural study of CEO potential

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Recent initiatives in business curricula have included emphases on global business communication and ethics. These issues are combined by comparing the ethical predisposition of business students in New Zealand and Singapore with their US counterparts. A sample of 373 students indicated that the students in the three countries generally hold high expectations for the behavior of business. Of the 14 scenarios evaluated, only four exhibited significant differences between the two groups, i.e. US compared with Singapore and New Zealand. In each of these four, students from New Zealand and Singapore expressed greater tolerance for the questionable business practice. However, there are several instances where Singapore is significantly different from the US, but New Zealand is not. The relationship between ethics and business communication is well established, for instance ethical issues in advertising including Federal Trade Commission of the US's concerns with advertising (and similar concerns elsewhere). Although this research was not designed to show this interconnection in an express manner, this relationship was borne in mind during the questionnaire design. The focus of this research is elsewhere but assumes that the interconnection is well understood.