Department of Management
The influence of business school’s ethical climate on students’ unethical behavior
Business schools play an instrumental role in laying the foundations for ethical behavior and socially responsible actions in the business community. Drawing on social learning and identity theories and using data collected from undergraduate business students (n = 318), we found that ethical climate was a significant predictor of unethical behavior, such that students with positive perceptions about their business school's ethical climate were more likely to refrain from unethical behaviors. Moreover, we found that high moral and institutional identities strengthened the effect of ethical climate on unethical behavior. In addition to novel theoretical contributions to the business ethics and socio-psychology literature, this study offers practical pathways through which business schools can nurture and instill the values and behaviors that ultimately help shape positive organizational ethics. Directions for future research are provided. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Business education, Ethical climate, Institutional identity, Moral identity, Social learning, Unethical behavior
Source Publication Title
Journal of Business Ethics
Link to Publisher's Edition
Birtch, Thomas A., and Flora F. T. Chiang. "The influence of business school’s ethical climate on students’ unethical behavior." Journal of Business Ethics 123.2 (2014): 283-294.