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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 7, 2010

Maisarah Mohamed Saat, Stacey Porter, Gordon Woodbine
Pages 39-62

An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Malaysian Ethics Education on Ethical Sensitivity

This paper examines the effectiveness of ethics education provided by Malaysian universities. A total of 264 accounting students attending ethics courses in public and private universities responded to a pre and post questionnaire (treatment group) and another 57 students who did not complete an ethics course (control group) were included for comparative purposes. Statistical analysis reveals that business ethics courses are effective as students demonstrate higher level of ethical sensitivity upon completion of the course. In contrast, the control group students demonstrate lower levels of ethical sensitivity. Students in the “good” and “average” academic performance category, females, and Malay students, gained most from an ethics education. Students from public universities were also found to benefit more than their private university counterparts. The results contribute to the dearth of research in this area and present a case for introducing compulsory business ethics courses in all Malaysian universities offering accounting programs.

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