The Impact of Acculturation on Immigrants’ Business Ethics Attitudes

Eugene D. Jaffe, Nonna Kushnirovich, Alexandr Tsimerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study explores to what extent immigrants adopt the business ethical attitudes of their host country and/or maintain those of their country of origin. For countries that have significant immigration, acculturation is an important social issue. An immigrant’s acculturation is influenced through the ability to adapt his/her “ethical culture of origin” by integrating it with the host country’s ethical culture. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the role of acculturation on immigrant’s ethical attitudes. What happens to individuals, who have developed in one cultural context, when they attempt to live in a new cultural context? Three groups were the object of this study: (1) native students of business administration in Israel, (2) students of business administration in the Ukraine and (3) business students in Israel who had emigrated from the Ukraine. Samples of these student populations allowed the study of acculturation effects on the immigrants as they acclimated to Israeli society. Results showed that students living in the Ukraine had the lowest ethical attitudes, followed by Ukraine immigrants in Israel. Israeli-born students had significantly higher ethical attitudes than either of the two Ukrainian groups. Accordingly, the ethical perceptions of immigrant students showed that they were influenced by both their home and host cultures. According to Berry’s (Appl Psychol Int Rev 46(1): 5–68, 1997) model of acculturation strategies, integration was their preferred strategy. The implications of these results and guidelines for further research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-834
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


  • Acculturation
  • Assimilation
  • Business ethics
  • Immigrants
  • Integration
  • Multiculturalism


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