, Volume 16, Issue 16, pp 1717-1725

Ethical Cognition of Business Students Individually and in Groups

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This study provides evidence regarding the level of ethical cognition of business students at the entry to college as compared to a national norm. It also provides comparative evidence on the effects of group versus individual ethical cognition upon completion of a business ethics course. The Principled Score (P-score) from the Defining Issues Test (DIT) was used to measure the ethical cognition of a total sample of 301 business students (273 entering students plus 28 students in a business ethics course). The results indicate that (1) business students are not significantly different from the national norms at entry to college and (2) group reasoning helps male students improve their P-scores significantly in the business ethics course at a loss of P-score (albeit not statistically significant) for female students.