Does teaching ethics do any good?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – This matched-pairs study of undergraduates at an Australian University investigates whether business ethics education has a positive effect on student ethical behaviour. The paper aims todiscuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach – This study uses a matched-pairs design to look at responses before and after students have taken a semester-long unit in business ethics. The authors used ethical scenarios and analysed both the starting position and changes in responses for the total student group, and by gender and citizenship.
Findings – The results from this matched-pairs study show ethics education has a limited impact onstudents’ responses to ethical dilemmas.
Practical implications – Ethics subjects are now ubiquitous in business schools, but it may be time to consider alternatives to the philosophical normative teaching approach.
Originality/value – This paper is significant in that it uses 142 matched pairs to look at responses before and after students have taken a semester-long unit in business ethics. This study provides qualified support for the proposition that business ethics education has an impact on students’ ethical decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439 - 454
Number of pages16
JournalEducation and Training
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • undergraduate students
  • scenarios
  • matched pairs
  • teaching business ethics

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