Ethics Education Effectiveness and Business Decision Making: Perspectives of Management School Graduates

Posted: 22 May 2019

See all articles by Madhuri Malhotra

Madhuri Malhotra

Loyola Institute of Business Administration

Date Written: April 23, 2019


The importance of business ethics as a subject in management schools has its roots in the study published by Paul (1987). Time and again the importance of value-based education is realized and perceived to be necessary for conducting ethical business practices. The main aim of education is to equip the learner with the wisdom of choosing the right over the wrong, and making sensible decisions in his / her personal and professional life. The basis for ethical behavior at work starts with the personal value system of an individual. The perception level of individual effects his / her ethical behavior which forms an ethical attitude. This is to a large extent set in within the personality of an individual by the time he/she peruses management education. Unethical behavior may stem from lack of proper education / ethical orientation at school/college level. (Alleyne et. al.; 2014). The debate remains, whether including "business ethics" as a subject in management education at postgraduate level, effects/changes their ethical attitude in their personal and professional lives? Does ethical education play a significant role in making ethical decisions in business? Is the ethical attitude dependent on the gender of the person? Does the ethical attitude depend on the level of maturity and work experience of individuals?

In this study, an attempt has been made to capture the attitude of management graduates towards business ethics, its importance in their personal and professional lives, and the role of ethics education in managerial decision making. The theory of reasoned action has been tested in this study, which links individual attitude toward a behavior to a person’s actual behavior. The basic driver of a person’s intention to behave ethically is the attitude towards ethical behavior.

The results show that age and maturity level in management graduates influence ethical behavior. Work experience significantly impacts ethical behavior. Experience does not influence the ethical decision-making framework among management graduates. Overall, the study supports the theory of reasoned action (Ajzen and Fishbein (1974).

Keywords: Business Ethics, Values, Decision Making, Business Conduct, Responsive Code of Practice, Sustainability

JEL Classification: M14, D21

Suggested Citation

Malhotra, Madhuri Satsangi, Ethics Education Effectiveness and Business Decision Making: Perspectives of Management School Graduates (April 23, 2019). Available at SSRN:

Madhuri Satsangi Malhotra (Contact Author)

Loyola Institute of Business Administration ( email )

Loyola College
Tamil Nadu
+91 044 28177191 (Phone)


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