During the last decade, highly publicized incidents of business misconduct have occurred in virtually every major industrial economy. These scandals have played a critical role in increasing public, business, and academic awareness of issues of business ethics throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Yet the extent of both public and academic interest in business ethics remains substantially greater in the United States than in any other capitalist nation. Moreover, the way Americans approach ethical issues remains distinctive. This article shows how the distinctive institutional, legal, social, and cultural context of American society has affected the way Americans perceive the ethical dimensions of business.
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