Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 101–118 | Cite as

Why Is It (Un-)ethical? Comparing Potential European Partners: A Western Christian and An Eastern Islamic Country – On Arguments Used in Explaining Ethical Judgments

  • Katharina J. Srnka
  • A. Ercan Gegez
  • S. Burak Arzova
International Management


Located at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western world, Turkey today is characterized by a demographically versatile and modernizing society as well as a rapidly developing economy. Currently, the country is negotiating its accession to the European Union. This article yields some factual grounding into the ongoing value-related debate concerning Turkey’s potential EU-membership. It describes a mixed-methodology study on moral reasoning in Austria and Turkey. In this study, the arguments given by individuals when evaluating ethically problematic situations in business were compared. Although there were major consistencies, a number of differences were found. These differences, however, were not in the substance (categories) of arguments used but in their relative frequency. Overall, our findings suggest that young, well-educated urban individuals from Western Christian and Eastern Islamic countries are highly consistent in their moral reasoning.


cross-cultural comparison moral reasoning empirical study mixed methodology 


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The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions, which helped to considerably improve this paper. We are also highly indebted to Sabine T. Koeszegi for her significant support as well as to Christof Paparella and Udo Wagner for their valuable input and challenging remarks on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina J. Srnka
    • 1
  • A. Ercan Gegez
    • 2
  • S. Burak Arzova
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Business Studies and Marketing, Faculty of Business, Economics, and StatisticsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economic and Admninistrative StudiesMarma UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Business Administration (Public Affaires), Faculty of Economic and Administrative StudiesMarma UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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