Article Title

India US Business Ethics


The U.S. and India are on opposite sides of the world, yet in today’s globalized world they might as well be next door neighbors. The commonalities in democratic governments and the use of English in official matters can make doing business transactions across borders easy between India and the U.S. At the same time, the cultural differences should not be ignored. This paper explores the impact of cultural differences between the U.S. and India in the particular area of business ethics. A comparative analysis is performed on the business codes of conduct from fifty major corporations in each country revealing some distinct differences in ethical attitudes. The hierarchical and collectivist nature of the Indian culture versus the all-encompassing and individualistic nature of the U.S. culture are reflected in four main findings. First, U.S. companies apply their codes of conduct to all employees, whereas Indian companies generally apply their codes of conduct only to senior management. Second, U.S. companies require their employees to report on their colleagues if they see them violating the code, whereas Indian companies generally do not. Third, India is more specific about defining what a relative is when discussing items such as conflict of interest. Finally, in both countries, there is a strong expectation to protect the interests of the company and not achieve personal gains at the company’s expense.