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Article
Effects of a business ethics elective on Hong Kong undergraduates' attitudes toward corporate ethics and social responsibility
Business and Society (2013)
  • Richard S. SIMMONS, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • William E. SHAFER, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Robin S. SNELL, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Abstract
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 pre-test/post-test 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. Additionally, among non-business 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 non-business students.
Keywords
  • business ethics education; corporate ethics; social responsibility; personal values; Machiavellianism
Disciplines
Publication Date
December, 2013
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2013 by SAGE Publications
Citation Information
Simmons, R. S., Shafer, W. E., & Snell, R. S. (2013). Effects of a business ethics elective on Hong Kong undergraduates' attitudes toward corporate ethics and social responsibility. Business & Society, 52(4), 558-591. doi: 10.1177/0007650309350282