Gender Differences in Proclivity for Unethical Behavior

  • Michael Betz
  • Lenahan O’Connell
  • Jon M. Shepard
Part of the Advances in Business Ethics Research book series (ABER, volume 2)


This paper explores possible connections between gender and the willingness to engage in unethical business behavior. Two approaches to gender and ethics are presented: the structural approach and the socialization approach. Data from a sample of 213 business school students reveal that men are more than two times as likely as women to engage in actions regarded as unethical but it is also important to note that relatively few would engage in any of these actions with the exception of buying stock with inside information. Fifty percent of the males were willing to buy stock with insider information. Overall, the results support the gender socialization approach.


Business Ethic Unethical Behavior Inside Trading Career Goal Ethic Program 
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.


  1. Betz, M., and L. O’Connell. 1987. Gender and work: A look at sex differences among pharmacy students. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 51: 39–43.Google Scholar
  2. Blauner, R. 1964. Alienation and freedom: The factory worker and his industry. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brenner, O., and C. Tomkiewicz. 1979. Job orientation of males and females: Are sex differences declining? Personnel Psychology 32: 741–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, R. 1975. Conflict sociology: Toward an explanatory science. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  5. David, D. 1974. Occupational values and sex: The case of scientists and engineers. Unpublished paper presented at American Sociological Association meetings in Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  6. Feldberg, R., and E. Glenn. 1979. Male and female: Job versus gender roles. Social Problems 26: 524–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gilligan, C. 1982. In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kanter, R. 1977. Men and women of the corporation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  9. Keys, D.E. 1985. Gender, sex role, and career decision making of certified management accountants. Sex Roles 13: 33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lacy, W.B., J.L. Bokemeier, and J.M. Shepard. 1983. Job attribute preferences and work commitment of men and women in the United States. Personnel Psychology 36: 315–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lueptow, L.B. 1981. Sex-typing and change in the occupational choices of high school seniors: 1964–1975. Sociological Education 54: 16–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Markham, W.T., S.J. South, C.M. Bonjean, and J. Corder. 1985. Gender and opportunity in the federal bureaucracy. The American Journal of Sociology 91: 129–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Shann, M.H. 1983. Career plans of men and women in gender dominant professions. Journal of Vocational Behavior 22: 343–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Statham, A. 1987. The gender model revisited: Differences in the management styles of men and women. Sex Roles 16: 409–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Veroff, J. 1977. Process vs. impact in men’s and women’s achievement motivation. Psychology of Women Quarterly 1: 283–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Betz
    • 1
  • Lenahan O’Connell
    • 2
  • Jon M. Shepard
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TenneseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyCarson-Newman CollegeJeffersonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Management, Department of SociologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations