Journal of Islamic Business and Management

University Students’ Islāmic Work Ethics and their Attitude towards Business Ethics: Evidence from Asia

Khurram Khan, Asma Gul, Zarina Abdul Salam
Published Online: June 2015
DOI: 10.1111/jibm

The current study investigates the students’ attitude towards business ethics and Islāmic Work Ethics (IWE) in four Asian Muslim countries i.e. Pakistan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia. It also examines the differences in attitudes towards business ethics and Islāmic work ethics across gender and education levels. The participants were university students of the selected countries. Self-administered questionnaires i.e. Attitude towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) and IWE were used to collect data, applying convenient sampling method. Overall, 537 usable questionnaires (Pakistan-158; KSA-119; UAE-152 and Malaysia-108) were included in the data for analyses. The results of the analysis imply that females scored higher on attitude towards IWE and males scored higher on attitude towards business ethics. Furthermore, graduate students were more inclined towards IWE, but there were no significant differences in attitudes towards business ethics across education levels. The differences across the countries indicated that Malaysia was at the top and Saudi Arabia was at a lowest level for IWE, whereas Pakistan was high and Saudi Arabia was low on attitudes towards business ethics. The study highlights not only the importance of IWE and business ethics in the lives of university students, but also provides important insights that how some countries are high or low on attitudes towards IWE and business ethics. Based on the above findings, specific implications are provided for managers who are interested in hiring business graduates from these countries e.g. how cultural differences among different countries can lead to diverse ethical standards and which ethical standards are strictly followed by employees across countries.


Business Ethics; Islāmic Work Ethics; Attitude; Gender; Religion; Education; Asia.