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ERIC Number: EJ1214013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2046-469X
Dichotomy in Ethical Perceptions of Business Students: An Emerging Country Perspective
Azhar, Sarwar Mehmood; Tashfeen, Rubeena; Khalid, Jaweria; Azhar, Tashfeen Mahmood
Journal of International Education in Business, v12 n1 p43-64 2019
Purpose: The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2016 shows Pakistan as among the more corrupt nations in the world with a ranking of 117 among 176 countries surveyed. This situation raises concerns about members of the society and especially about the business communities. This paper aims to examine whether the tendency to corruption is also prevalent amongst business students, the future leaders and executives of business organizations. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses survey questionnaires in the manner of Parsa and Lankford (1999) to examine the ethical levels of business students. It uses Levene's (1960) tests for equality of variances and the t-test for equality of means to examine whether there are difference in the ethical perceptions between: bachelors (BBA) and graduate (MBA) students; business students who have taken the ethics course and those who have not; and female and male students. The authors also examine the overall ethical perceptions of business students. Findings: The results show that students seem to make a clear distinction in respect of what they consider as acceptable and unacceptable ethical behavior. They would not indulge in behavior that directly falls within the category of stealing, misusing of company's resources and undertaking actions that are wrong or dishonest, which may stem from their religious indoctrination. However, they would consider as acceptable behavior the overlooking of safety violations, not telling on peers; and fudging of the truth to get the job done. The latter attitude appears to be in line with business objectives of achieving targets irrespective of the means employed and that inform business education. We do not find any differences between the behavior of women and men which may be the outcome of the same religious indoctrination and educational perceptions. While there is a difference in the ethical perceptions between students who have taken the ethics course and those who have not, the course is not able to counter the lack of ethics among business students. There is a need for some stronger measures to inculcate a set of ethical values within students. However, we did find that some of the unethical behavior is diluted at the MBA level in comparison to BBA students. Originality/value: This study provides new insights into the ethical perceptions of students in an Islamic emerging country. There is a conflict between ethics conveyed through Islamic precepts, and the ethics of business education with a focus on profits/revenues, costs, performance and competition that endorses a Machiavellian attitude of achieving goals at any cost and the love of money (Tang and Chen, 2008). It is the first study to suggest a differentiation in the ethical behavior of business students that exhibit both ethical and unethical behavior. There appears to be a clear segregation between what students deem as acceptable and unacceptable ethical behavior that may result from their personal/religious beliefs, and their business attitudes that strongly informs their ethical behavior. It provides a basis for developing more customized and effective ethics courses in Pakistan and suggests more importantly that ethics needs to be integrated into business concepts imparted in business programs at universities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pakistan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A