Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 10, Issue 11, pp 805–817 | Cite as

The social desirability response bias in ethics research

  • Donna M. Randall
  • Maria F. Fernandes


This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the effects of a socially desirable response bias.


Economic Growth College Student Ethic Research Business Ethic Great Influence 
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.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna M. Randall
    • 1
  • Maria F. Fernandes
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Management and SystemsWashington State UniversityPullmanU.S.A.

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