This study examined ethical attitudes and perceptions of 691 undergraduate seniors and freshmen in a college of business. Gender was found to be correlated to perceptions of "what the ethical climate should be" with female subjects showing significantly more favorable attitude towards ethical behaviors than males. Further, Seniors had a more cynical view of the current ethical climate than freshmen. Freshmen were significantly more likely than seniors to believe that good business ethics is positively related to successful business outcomes. Ethical education was significantly correlated to both perceptions of "current ethical climate" as well as "what the ethical climate should be". Students who had been exposed to ethical issues in a course were more likely to believe both, that ethical behavior is, and should be, positively associated with successful business outcomes.
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Luthar, H.K., DiBattista, R.A. & Gautschi, T. Perception of What the Ethical Climate is and What it Should be: The Role of Gender, Academic Status, and Ethical Education. Journal of Business Ethics 16, 205–217 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1017980520924