What is Working, What is Not, and What We Need to Know: a Meta-Analytic Review of Business Ethics Instruction

Journal of Academic Ethics 15 (3):245-275 (2017)
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Abstract

Requirements for business ethics education and organizational ethics trainings mark an important step in encouraging ethical behavior among business students and professionals. However, the lack of specificity in these guidelines as to how, what, and where business ethics should be taught has led to stark differences in approaches and content. The present effort uses meta-analytic procedures to examine the effectiveness of current approaches across organizational ethics trainings and business school courses. to provide practical suggestions for business ethics interventions and research. Thus, the primary questions driving this research are as follows: what course characteristics moderate the effectiveness of ethics instruction?, and have ethics education and training efforts improved? Findings suggest that professional, focused, and workshop-based training programs are especially effective for improving business ethics. However, results also reveal considerable problems with many of the criteria used to evaluate the effectiveness of business ethics interventions. Practical suggestions for course design and evaluation in business ethics efforts are discussed along with future research needs.

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