Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Toni Pauls
Dr. Ron Iden
Dr. Elizabeth Schurman
Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to discover how colleges and universities impact the moral development of their undergraduate school of business students through the method by which they teach ethics in their curricula. To address the stated problem of understanding the impact of ethics and its effect on the moral development of students, the research question that drove this study involved discovering if there was a relationship between the ethical decisions undergraduate college business students make (like deciding whether to cheat on exams and/or assignments) and the way ethics content was delivered. In answering the research question, five hypotheses were tested that included: Students who have received instruction in stand-alone ethics courses are less likely to display cheating behavior; a student’s age, year in school and gender will each predict cheating propensity; students that exhibit a deep form of learning will be less likely to make unethical decisions in their college careers; and students that exhibit a strategic or surface form of learning will be more likely to make unethical decisions in their college careers. Two scales were used, one that measured the three forms of learning and one that measured cheating propensity. The methodology involved convenience sampling of the students from the Midwestern school that agreed to participate in the study. The survey was fully completed by 206 participants who met the criteria for this study. The results of this research revealed that there was a significant relationship between how ethics courses were delivered to students and their propensity to cheat. Furthermore, age and year in school were valid predictors of cheating behavior, but gender was not. Lastly, the students learning method was not a significant predictor of cheating behavior.
Is there is a relationship between the ethical decisions undergraduate business students make (like deciding whether to cheat on exams and/or assignments) and the way ethics content was delivered? The results of this research revealed a significant relationship between how ethics courses were delivered to students and their propensity to cheat. Students that received stand-alone ethics courses were significantly less likely to cheat than the students that had ethics integrated within the course work. Research also indicated that undergraduate students who have a higher propensity to compromise their ethical decision-making while doing assignments or taking tests, will do the same in the workplace.
Horwitz, Jeffrey P., "Correlational Study Exploring the Relationship Between the Teaching of Ethics in Business Schools and the Ethical Behavior of College Students in Those Schools" (2021). Ed.D. Dissertations. 145.
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Dr. Jeff Horwitz holds a B.S. in business/marketing from Indiana University, an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University, and an Ed.D. from Olivet Nazarene University. Between university degrees, Dr. Horwitz held sales and management positions at various stops in corporate America as well as experiencing entrepreneurship firsthand through business ownership. Additionally, with over thirteen years of experience teaching at the college level, Dr. Horwitz uses this real-world background to bring focus and direction to students utilizing high performance standards, integrity, creativity, successful communication, and problem-solving. Dr. Horwitz published his doctoral dissertation on business and educational ethics and is considered an authority on the subject.
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