An empirical study of future professionals' intentions to engage in unethical business practices

This paper sought to test whether student demographics (gender, age, religion, type of degree and number of courses done containing ethics) influenced the likelihood of engaging in unethical business practices. The study involved the use of a questionnaire being administered to a sample of 231 undergraduate students in Barbados. It was found that gender, religiousness, type of degree and number of courses taken containing ethics significantly impacted on the intentions to engage in unethical behaviour. It was also found that the impact of age was not conclusive. The study has several limitations including low generalisability due to the use of a non-probability sampling method, and the possibility of social desirability bias. The study informs educators about the need to integrate ethics into the curriculum as an essential component of professional training for future managers and business people. This study makes an important contribution to the ethics literature on small island developing states, since the study was done in the country of Barbados.
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