Business Students and Ethical Decision Making: An Examination of Generational Differences

Catherine M. Stark, Olivet Nazarene University

Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2012 for Olivet Nazarene University.


As ethical scandals plague government, businesses, and the field of entertainment, educational researchers are attempting to determine the factors that impact students’ views on unethical behaviors. This study examined the perceived seriousness of ethical decision making of college students across generations. The researcher surveyed upper-level, business college students in a private, not-for-profit, Midwestern university to gain insight into the perceptions of unethical behaviors present in classroom and workplace settings. The results indicated there were significant differences in perception levels among Generation X students (1965-1980) and Millennial students (1981-1994) in classroom and workplace settings.