Effects of a business ethics elective on Hong Kong undergraduates' attitudes toward corporate ethics and social responsibility

Richard S Simmons, William E Shafer, Robin Stanley Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the effect of a business ethics course on undergraduates attitudes toward the importance of corporate ethics and social responsibility, as measured by the PRESOR scale. It employs a survey approach, adopting a pretest/posttest methodology in the data collection. A total of 132 undergraduate students were surveyed over a period of four semesters during 2006 and 2007. To test the effects of individual personality characteristics and examine their potential interaction with ethical education, participants personal values and degree of Machiavellianism were also assessed. The business ethics course resulted in significantly less support for the traditional stockholder view of business, providing backing for the inclusion of a stand-alone business ethics course in the business studies curriculum. In addition, among nonbusiness majors, the course resulted in significantly greater support for the stakeholder view, suggesting that it would be especially beneficial to open such a course to nonbusiness students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558 - 591
Number of pages34
JournalBusiness & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this