Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp 325–335

The Role of Business Ethics, Personality, Work Values and Gender in Vocational Interests from Adolescents


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-011-0999-2

Cite this article as:
Berings, D. & Adriaenssens, S. J Bus Ethics (2012) 106: 325. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-0999-2


The present study investigates how business ethics are related to vocational interest. Special attention has been paid to the relationship between business ethics and the interest in ‘enterprising’ and ‘social’ oriented professions. The results show that business ethics is only significantly correlated in a negative way, to enterprising vocational preferences. Moreover, the negative contribution of business ethics to the preference for entrepreneurial and managerial professions remains after controlling for personality and work values. Some work values also predict the entrepreneurial interest: Earnings, Influence, Competition, Innovation and Creativity. The personality traits Extraversion (positive) and Agreeableness (negative) have predictive validity, but this effect disappears after controlling for work values. In the ‘Discussion’ section, we pay attention to possible consequences of the negative relationship between business ethics and Entrepreneurial interest for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We argue that efforts concerning realistic job previews will only be meaningful if they are completed with efforts to make people more sensitive for ethics in two other domains, namely education and business.


Business ethicsVocational interestWork valuesPersonalityGender

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Relations Research Group (HRRG)Hogeschool-Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium