Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 353–368 | Cite as

Exposure to Ethics Education and the Perception of Linkage between Organizational Ethical Behavior and Business Outcomes

  • Harsh K. LutharEmail author
  • Ranjan Karri
Article

Abstract

This study focused on the effects of individual characteristics and exposure to ethics education on perceptions of the linkage between organizational ethical practices and business outcomes. Using a stratified sampling approach, 817 students were randomly selected from a population of approximately 1310 business students in an AACSB accredited college of business. Three hundred and twenty eight of the subjects were freshmen, 380 were seniors, and 109 were working managers and professionals enrolled in a night-time MBA program. Overall, the respondents included 438 male students and 379 female students. Exposure to ethics in the curriculum had a significant impact on student perceptions of what should be the ideal linkages between organizational ethical practices and business outcomes. Gender based differences were found with female students having a higher expectation regarding what should be the “ethics practices and business outcomes” link. Exposure to ethics in the curriculum had a positive moderating influence on the gender-based effects on perceptions of ideal ethical climate. The interaction effect showed that exposure to ethical education may have a positive impact on males and allow them to catch up with females in their ethical sensitivities concerning the ideal linkage between organizational ethical behavior and business outcomes. Further, consistent with the literature, the study found that gender differences in ethical attitudes regarding the ideal ethical climate, while significant for undergraduates, appeared to narrow considerably for the working professionals who were part-time MBA students.

Keywords

ethical perceptions ethical attitudes ethics education gender business students 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler, P. S. 2002Corporate Scandals: It’s Time for Reflection in Business SchoolsAcademy of Management Executive16148149Google Scholar
  2. Akaah, I. 1989Differences in Research Ethics Judgments Between Male and Female Marketing ProfessionalsJournal of Business Ethics8375381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akers, M. D., Eaton, T. V. 2003Underreporting of Chargeable Time: The Impact of Gender and Characteristics of UnderreportersJournal of Managerial Issues158296Google Scholar
  4. Arlow, P. 1991Characteristics in College Students’ Evaluations of Business Ethics and Corporate ResponsibilityJournal of Business Ethics106369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnett, J. H., Karson, M. J. 1989Managers Values, Executive Decisions: An Exploration of the Role of Gender Career Stage Organizational Level Function, and the Importance of Ethics Relationships and Results in Managerial Decision-MakingJournal of Business Ethics83544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Betz, M., O’Connell, L. 1987Gender and Work: A Look at Sex Differences Among Pharmacy StudentsAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education513943Google Scholar
  7. Betz, M., O’Connell, L., Shepard, J. M. 1989Gender Differences in Productivity for Unethical BehaviorJournal of Business Ethics8321324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blanchard, K.: 2001, ‘Managing by Values’, Executive Excellence, MayGoogle Scholar
  9. Bok, D.: 1976, ‘Can Ethics Be Taught?’ Change, (October) 26–30Google Scholar
  10. Borkowski, S. C., Ugras, Y. J. 1992The Ethical Attitudes of Students as a Function of Age Sex, and ExperienceJournal of Business Ethics116369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borkowski, S. C., Ugras, Y. J. 1998Business Students and Ethics: A Meta-AnalysisJournal of Business Ethics1711171127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boyd, D. P. 1981–1982Improving Ethical Awareness Through the Business and Society CourseBusiness and Society20–212731Google Scholar
  13. Brubaker, H. 2003Big Companies Teach Business Ethics to EmployeesKnight Ridder Tribune Business NewsWashington)1March 26, 2003Google Scholar
  14. Conroy, S., Emerson, T. 2004Business Education and Religion: Religiosity as a Predictor of Ethical Awareness among StudentsJournal of Business Ethics50383396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crane, F. 2004The Teaching of Business Ethics: An Imperative at Business SchoolsJournal of Business Ethics79149151Google Scholar
  16. Dawson, L. M. 1997Ethical Differences Between Men and Women in the Sales ProfessionJournal of Business Ethics1611431152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Derry, R. 1989An Empirical Study of Moral ReasoningJournal of Business Ethics8855862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeVellis, R. F. 1991Scale Development: Theory and ApplicationsSage Publications IncorporatedNewbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  19. Ekin, M. G. S., Tezolmez, S. H. 1999Business Ethics in Turkey: An Empirical Investigation with Special Emphasis on GenderJournal of Business Ethics181734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. England, G. W. 1978Managers and Their Value Systems: A Five-Country Comparative StudyColumbia Journal of World Business133544Google Scholar
  21. Ergeneli, A., Arikan, S. 2002Gender Differences in Ethical Perceptions of Salespeople: An Empirical Examination in TurkeyJournal of Business Ethics40247260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Etzioni, A. 2002When It Comes to Ethics B-Schools Get an FThe Washington PostWashington, D.C 4August 4, 2002Google Scholar
  23. Ford, R. C., Richardson, W. D. 1994Ethical Decision Making: A Review of the Empirical LiteratureJournal of Business Ethics13205222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fritzsche, D. 1988‘An Examination of Marketing Ethics: Role of the Decision Maker Consequences of the Decision Management Position, and Sex of the Respondent’Journal of Macromarketing82939Google Scholar
  25. Gautschi, T. F. 1992Ethics SurveyDesign News29166Google Scholar
  26. Giacalone, R., Jurkiewicz, C. 2003Right from Wrong: The Influence of Spirituality on Perceptions of Unethcial Business ActivitiesJournal of Business Ethics468597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gilligan, C. 1982In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s DevelopmentHarvard University PressCambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  28. Harris, C., Brown, W. 1990Developmental Constraints on Ethical Behavior in BusinessJournal of Business Ethics9855863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jennings, M. 2004Incorporating Ethics and Professionalism into Accounting Education and Research: A Discussion of the Voids and Advocacy for Training in Seminal Works in Business EthicsIssues in Accounting Education19726Google Scholar
  30. Johnson, R. A., Neelankavil, J. P., Jadhav, A. 1986Developing the Executive ResourceBusiness Horizons2933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jones, T. M., Gautschi, F. H. 1988Will the Ethics of Business Change? A Survey of Future ExecutivesJournal of Business Ethics7231248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Joyner, B. E., Payne, D. 2002Evolution and Implementation: A Study of Values Business Ethics and Corporate Social ResponsibilityJournal of Business Ethics41297312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Knotts, T. L., T. B. Lopez and A. I. Mesak: 2000. ‘Ethical Judgments of College Students: An Empirical Analysis’. Journal of Education for Business, 158–163Google Scholar
  34. Kohlberg, L. 1984Essays on Moral Development,Harper & RowSan Francisco, CAGoogle Scholar
  35. Lane, J. C. 1995Ethics of Business Students: Some Marketing PerspectivesJournal of Business Ethics14571580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Langdale, C. H.: 1983, ‘Moral Orientations and Moral Development: The Analysis of Care and Justice Reasoning Across Different Dilemmas in Females and Males from Childhood through Adulthood Ethics in Small Business’, Doctoral Dissertation, Harvard University, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  37. Longenecker, J. G., McKinney, J. A., Moore, C. F. 1989‘Ethics in Small Business’Journal of Small Business Management272731Google Scholar
  38. Lord, V. B., Bjerregaard, B. E. 2003Ethics Courses: Their Impact on the Values and Ethical Decisions of Criminal Justice StudentsJournal of Criminal Justice Education14191. HighlandCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Luthar, H. K., DiBattista, R., Gautschi, T. 1997Perception of What the Ethical Climate is and What is Should be: The Role of Gender Academic Status and Ethical EducationJournal of Business Ethics16205217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lyons, N. P. 1983The Perspectives: On Self Relationships and MoralityHarvard Educational Review53125145Google Scholar
  41. Mayer, J. 1988Themes of Social Responsibility: A Survey of Three Professional SchoolsJournal of Business Ethics7316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McNichols, C. W., Zimmerer, T. W. 1985Situational Ethics: An Empirical Study of Differentiators of Student AttitudesJournal of Business Ethics4175180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mitroff, I., Swanson, D. 2004‘An Open Letter to the Deans and the Faculties of American Business Schools: A Call for Action’The Academy of Management News3578Google Scholar
  44. Murphy, P. R., Boatright, J. R. 1994‘Assessing the Effectiveness of Instruction in Business Ethics: A Longitudinal Analysis’Journal of Education for Business69326Google Scholar
  45. Murray, T. J.: 1987, ‘Can Business Schools Teach Ethics’, Business Month April, 24–26Google Scholar
  46. Nunnally, J. 1978Psychometric TheoryMcGraw, HillNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Paine, L. S. 1988Ethics Education in American Business SchoolsThe Ethics Resource CenterWashington, D.CGoogle Scholar
  48. Paine, L. S. 2000Does Ethics Pay?Business Ethics Quarterly10319330Google Scholar
  49. Pedhazur, E. J. and L. P. Schmelkin: 1991. Measurement Design, and Analysis: An Integrated Approach, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. PublishersGoogle Scholar
  50. Peterson, D. K., Rhoads, A., Vaught, B. C. 2001Belief in Universal Ethics: Gender Differences Influence of Referent Others, and Ethical Beliefs of Business ProfessionalsBusiness and Professional Ethics Journal2047Google Scholar
  51. Peterson, R. A., Beltramini, R. F., K. G.,  1991Concerns of College Students Regarding Business Ethics: A ReplicationJournal of Business Ethics10733738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Prasad, J. N., Marlow, N., Hattwick, R. E. 1998‘Gender-based Differences in Perception of a Just Society’Journal of Business Ethics17219228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rest, J. R.: 1988, ‘Can Ethics be Taught in Professional Schools?’ The Psychological Research Easier Said than Done (Winter), 22–26Google Scholar
  54. Rohatyn, F. G. 1988Ethics in America’s Money CultureTouche RossNew York, NY.Google Scholar
  55. Ruegger, D., King, E. W. 1992A Study of the Effect of Age and Gender upon Student Business EthicsJournal of Business Ethics11179186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Salmans, S.: 1987, ‘Suddenly Business Schools Tackle Ethics’, New York Times Education Life August 2, 64–69Google Scholar
  57. Stark, A.: 1993, ‘What’s the Matter with Business Ethics?’ Harvard Business Review (May–June), 38–48Google Scholar
  58. Stevens, G. 1984Business Ethics and Social Responsibility: The Responses of Present and Future ManagersAkron Business and Economics Review15611Google Scholar
  59. Tanner, J., Cudd, M. 1999Finance Degree Programs and the Issue of Student PreparednessJournal of Education for Business74335340Google Scholar
  60. Merwe, R., Pitt, L. B., P.,  2003Are Excellent Companies Ethical? Evidence from an Industrial SettingCorporate Reputation Review5343358Google Scholar
  61. Weeks, W. A., Moore, C. W., McKinney, J. A., Longenecker, J. G. 1999The Effects of Gender and Career Stage on Ethical JudgmentJournal of Business Ethics20301314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Weisul, K. and J. Merritt: 2002, ‘You Mean Cheating is Wrong?’ Business Week December 9, 8Google Scholar
  63. White, C. S., Dooley, R. S. 1993Ethical or Practical: An Empirical Study of Students’ Choices in Simulated Business ScenariosJournal of Business Ethics12643651CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management DepartmentBryant CollegeSmithfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations