Business students’ attitudes toward business ethics: An empirical investigation in Vietnam

Loan N.T. Pham, Lam Dang Nguyen, Monica J. Favia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes toward business ethics of Vietnamese business students based on gender and the experience of having taken a business ethics course. Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative self-administered survey was conducted with a convenience sample of Vietnamese business students at a banking university in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This study used the 30-item Attitudes Toward Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) constructed by Neumann and Reichel (1987) based on the work of Stevens (1979). The Vietnamese version questionnaire was distributed, and 282 surveys were used for analysis. An item-by-item analysis was conducted based on gender and the experience of having taken a business ethics course. Findings – Significant differences were found on seven items based on gender and four items based on the experience of having taken a business ethics course. However, respondents appeared to have similar attitudes on the majority of the items. Research limitations/implications – Perhaps the greatest limitation of this study is the relatively uneven distribution of the respondents in the sample. The sample is skewed slightly toward women who are a bit older, fourth year or post-graduate and those who have not taken a business ethics course. In addition convenience sampling technique reduced its generalizability. This study is important because it supports the idea of ethics education to improve ethical decision-making of future business leaders and that education has an effect in Vietnam. Practical implications – As business students are the main subjects of this research, it can be useful for those involved in development of management and business education in Vietnam to have an overview on how gender impacts business students’ ethics perception. For the executives of multinational corporations, this study provides important information and adds support to a decision to do business in Vietnam. Social implications – Although there may be a perception of a less than ethical climate in Vietnam based on its Corruption Perception Index scores, it appears that Vietnamese business students in general express an ethical viewpoint. This study emphasizes the importance of ethics education that is culture-specific to build a strong ethical business environment that can help Vietnam prevent bribery and corruption and achieve sustainable growth and prosperity. Originality/value – This study contributes to the attitudes toward business ethics research and sheds light on the impact of gender and education (business ethics course) on Vietnamese business students’ ethical attitudes. There has been little research on business ethics in Vietnam. Academicians, managers, practitioners, policymakers, government leaders and the like can benefit from the findings of this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-305
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Asia Business Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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