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Teaching Business Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 269–284 | Cite as

Effects of Education and Intervention on Business Students’ Ethical Cognition: A Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Study

  • Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi
  • M. Francis Reeves
Article

Abstract

In this study, we present evidence on the changes inethical cognition of business students over afour-year period. We use the Principled Score(P-score) of the Defining Issues Test to measure thischange. Specifically, we first compare the P-scores ofstudents at the entry to, halfway through, and shortlyafter graduation from a business school to analyze theeffect size of education on ethical cognition.Secondly, for a sample of students in an electivebusiness ethics course, we compare P-scores at thebeginning, and at the end of the semester to analyzethe effect size of specific intervention course onethical cognition.

Prior studies in liberal arts fields have reportedhigh effect sizes from four-year college education onethical cognition, while a few studies have reportedonly moderate gains for business students. Consistentwith the liberal arts studies, our results indicatestatistically significant gains, and high effect sizesfor business students as well. Similarly, priorstudies have reported moderate gains in the P-scorefrom intervention courses in various fields. Ourresults indicate only low to moderate effect sizes forbusiness students. Importantly, while the gain waslow, and statistically insignificant for femalestudents, it was moderate, and highly significant formale students. Implications for education and researchare discussed.

ethical cognition principled score intervention longitudinal cross-sectional 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi
    • 1
  • M. Francis Reeves
    • 1
  1. 1.Bentley CollegeWalthamUSA

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