Public Organization Review

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 159–174 | Cite as

Working Adults and Personal Business Ethics in South East Asia: a Comparative Study in Thailand and Vietnam

  • Lam D. Nguyen
  • Quan H. M. Tran


Global leaders and managers have been facing new challenges in the twenty-first century since globalization has created a much more integrated and borderless business environment. One of the key issues that they constantly deal with is business ethics. The global economy has made ethical issues become more complex and challenging. Businesses nowadays face urgent demands to act ethically and responsibly. In order for global leaders and managers to manage such a cultural diverse and complex workforce, they must have the ability to understand these complex issues and act ethically. They also need to possess adequate leadership skills to lead an ethical organization in a multinational environment. Thus, understanding and recognizing the cultural differences as well as the ethical standards of people in different countries are critical to the success of global leaders and managers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of working professionals on business ethics in the two high-context cultures in South East Asia: Thailand and Vietnam. Using the Univariate Analysis of Variance method and adopting the widely-used Clark and Clark’s Personal Business Ethics Scores (PBES) measure, this study will compare the level of ethical maturity of the respondents based on a variety of variables including gender, business law course taken, code of conduct, ethics training, and government work experience. The authors will provide a thorough literature review on business ethics as well as the current ethical issues, i.e., bribery and corruption, in the two countries, together with practical suggestions and implications for educators, managers, and employees.


Business ethics Business law course Ethical maturity Ethics course Ethics training Gender Government experience Thailand Vietnam 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bloomsburg University of PennsylvaniaBloomsburgUSA
  2. 2.University of Economics Ho Chi Minh CityHochiminh CityVietnam

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