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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 18, 2021

Duygu Gulseren, Nick Turner, Justin M. Weinhardt
Pages 5-24

What Makes Ethics Education Effective?
An Umbrella Review and Evidence-Led Best Practices

Ethics education remains in high demand in business schools. Meta-analyses published in the last two decades show that ethics instruction with certain characteristics produce more desirable moral outcomes than other characteristics do. Acknowledging the vast accumulated knowledge on this topic, we believe that the existing evidence base could be overwhelming for ethics educators designing and delivering their courses. Thus, we review the research evidence on the effectiveness of ethics instruction and translate the findings into evidence-led best practices. Adopting the meta-science approach and using a model of training evaluation, we synthesized 8 meta-analyses and 3 quantitative reviews that examine the extent to which ethics instruction types, course duration, instructional techniques and activities, and instructor and student characteristics affect the effectiveness of ethics education. We conclude by making specific recommendations to ethics educators who are interested in designing and delivering evidence-based ethics courses.