Globalization defines the business world today, yet globalization also leads to many types of misunderstandings regarding ethics, motives, and trust. We apply the theory of social contracts for the purpose of aiding the understanding of moral diversity arising from globalization. Specifically, we seek to better understand how country of origin, and role within country, lead to community “microsocial” norms that inform social contract ethical judgments. A total of 695 managerial accounting professionals and accounting students from Italy and the U.S. completed the survey. Employing a moderated mediation model, we find that country of origin is significantly related to intended behaviors in two business situations, and this relationship is mediated by social contract ethical judgment. Further, the impact of national culture on social contract ethical judgment is moderated by role (professional versus student). Multiple mediation analysis supports our contention that contractual evaluations precede moral equity assessments and that both contractual and moral equity ethical judgments affect ethical intentions.

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