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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 6, 2009

Patricia McCourt Larres, Mark Mulgrew
Pages 5-23

A Review of an Initiative to Introduce a Short Ethics Component into a Non-Ethics Course at a U.K. University

This paper discusses the introduction of a short ethics component into a first-year undergraduate accounting information systems course at a UK university. The influence of this ethics component on students’ ethical perceptions—where ethical perceptions are represented by the extent to which students’ conclusions regarding unethical actions coincide with those of experts in the field—is then assessed using computer-based scenarios to represent seven categories of ethical norms. The ethical perceptions in each of the scenarios are then statistically compared between two groups of students, namely those who have studied the ethics component and those who have not. Results indicate no significant difference in ethical perceptions between the two groups across all of the ethical norms. Possible explanations for this result are discussed and implications for future ethics teaching are considered.

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