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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 6, 2009

Aaron A. Buchko, Kathleen J. Buchko
Pages 119-146
DOI: 10.5840/jbee200968

So We Teach Business Ethics—Do They Learn?

A study was done with incoming freshmen, sophomore, senior, and graduate business students (n = 185) to assess the effects of moral development, gender, education level, and context on the moral choices in a simulated business situation, a potential hostile takeover of a fictional company. The results indicated that level of moral development did affect the decisions of students; however, main effects for gender, the level of education, and context were not significant. The results did find significant interaction effects between context and moral development and gender and moral development. Students with lower levels of moral development were less likely to consider the contextual situation when making their decisions. The effect of moral development was more pronounced for female business students than for male business students. The implications of these results for ethics education in business schools are discussed.