Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 489–493 | Cite as

Differences in ethical perceptions between male and female managers: Myth or reality?

  • Jeaneen M. Kidwell
  • Robert E. Stevens
  • Art L. Bethke


This study sought to identify whether or not differences exist between the ethical decisions of male and female managers; and, if they do exist, to identify the areas in which differences occurred. An additional evaluation was conducted to determine how each perceived their counterpart would respond to the same ethical decision making situations.

Data were collected from 50 male managers and 50 female managers by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Distinctive demographic characteristics were noted among the segments.

The results showed only one area where a significant difference existed between males and females on what they considered to be ethical. However, there were significant differences in 16 out of 17 situations when they rated the ethical behavior of their male/female counterparts, i.e., males rated females as being significantly less ethical than themselves and vice versa.


Economic Growth Demographic Characteristic Ethical Behavior Ethical Decision Additional Evaluation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews, Kenneth R.: 1984, ‘Difficulties in Overseeing Ethical Policy’, California Management Review, (Summer), 133–137.Google Scholar
  2. Brennan, John Jr., James Valtz, John Shallenberger, and Vincent Stanton: 1961, ‘How Ethical Are Businessmen?’, Harvard Business Review, (July–August), 6–10.Google Scholar
  3. McNulty, Nancy: 1975, ‘And Now, Professional Codes for the Practice of Management ... But Not in the U.S.’, The Conference Board Record, (April), 21–25.Google Scholar
  4. Pastin, Mark: 1983, ‘Why?’, Business Horizons, (January–February), 2.Google Scholar
  5. Ruch, William and John Newstrom: 1975, ‘How Unethical Are We?’, Supervisory Management, (November), 16–21.Google Scholar
  6. Velasquez, Manuel: 1983, ‘Organizational Statesmanship and Dirty Politics: Ethical Guidelines for the Organizational Politician’, Organizational Dynamics, (Autumn), 65–68.Google Scholar
  7. ‘Difference That Sex Makes’, Time, March 20, 1964.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeaneen M. Kidwell
    • 1
  • Robert E. Stevens
    • 1
  • Art L. Bethke
    • 1
  1. 1.South PasadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations