Gender differences in the perception of business ethics and ethical decision making – a case study of Master students at the Cardiff School of Management
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Ethics is about doing what is morally right but might not be enforced by law. Over the past years, numerous international businesses were involved in unethical behaviour resulting in business scandals. Businesses believe that gaining a profit and being ethical at the same time is contradicting. Moreover, globalization and multicultural companies face the problem that different cultures have different values and hence a different understanding of what is right and wrong. Secondary research revealed some gender related differences towards business ethics and ethical decision making, however, no clear verification was found. Additionally, no clear verification was found if an ethical education and/or an integrated ethics courses at university influences and increases the student’s perception of ethics. The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate if there is a difference between men and women and their perception in relation to business ethics and ethical decision making. The research was focused on students enrolled on a Master course at the Cardiff Metropolitan University – Cardiff School of Management. Primary research was conducted and showed a significant difference between men and women in their perception towards business ethics. Females showed a higher concern with ethical situations by agreeing more with the non- consequentialism theory, based on rules and principles. Men, on the contrary, leaned more towards agreeing with the consequentialism theory, meaning judging a situation based on their outcome and consequences. Based on this research, a recommendation that can be given is to teach and educate children and students about ethics in order to increase their understanding and behaviour towards it.
Master of Business Administration
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