Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 927–940 | Cite as

An empirical study of ethical predispositions

  • F. Neil Brady
  • Gloria E. Wheeler


Using a two-part instrument consisting of eight vignettes and twenty character traits, the study sampled 141 employees of a mid-west financial firm regarding their predispositions to prefer utilitarian or formalist forms of ethical reasoning. In contrast with earlier studies, we found that these respondents did not prefer utilitarian reasoning. Several other hypotheses were tested involving the relationship between (1) people's preferences for certain types of solutions to issues and (2) the forms of reasoning they use to arrive at those solutions; the nature of the relationship between utilitarian and formalist categories; and the possibility of measuring ethical predispositions using different methods.


Economic Growth Empirical Study Character Trait Ethical Reasoning Ethical Predisposition 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Neil Brady
    • 1
  • Gloria E. Wheeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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