South African citizens do not have a positive perception of Chinese companies. The perception of Chinese business ethics in South Africa’s industries are unknown and studies regarding this topic are absent in the literature. Good business ethics lead to an increase in trade between companies however, good business ethics are not essential for trade to happen. There is an increase in trade between the South African medical device industry and Chinese businesses; yet the perception of Chinese business ethics by this industry is unknown.
This qualitative study explores the perception South African medical device companies have of Chinese business ethics. Data was collected through fourteen in-depth, semi-structured interviews with owners, executives and senior managers of South African medical device companies. This study found that the medical device industry of South Africa has its own ethical lens used to assess business ethics. The industry’s lens is predominantly influenced by Western standards, practices and ethics. This study found that the medical device industry has a negative perception of Chinese business ethics. The negative perception is influenced by many factors, in particular Chinese medical device product attributes and adherence to Western standards.
This research contributes to the literature by exploring the perception of Chinese business ethics in a particular industry of South Africa, this being the medical device industry of South Africa. In addition, this research gives recommendations to Chinese businesses to improve Chinese business conduct in the medical device industry of South Africa which will ultimately improve the perception of Chinese business’ ethics in this industry.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.