The Role of Gender and Age in Business Students’ Values, CSR Attitudes, and Responsible Management Education: Learnings from the PRME International Survey

Journal of Business Ethics 146 (1):219-239 (2017)
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Abstract

As demand grows from various stakeholders for responsible management education in business schools, it is essential to understand how corporate social responsibility and RME are perceived by various subgroups of business students. Following the principles of theories on moral orientation and moral development, we examined the role of gender and age in determining four indicators of business students’ moral approach in the context of business schools committed to RME and CSR. Based on nearly 1300 responses to a survey, conducted with the United Nations-supported principles for responsible management education, we show that overall, female students placed a higher value on ethical responsibilities than male students. Female students were also more welcoming than male students regarding curriculum changes that were focused on CSR-related studies. In addition, older age groups ranked transcendent values and positive CSR attitudes higher than younger age groups. We also found that the subgroups of the age variable could better discriminate the differences in choices made by the respondents between the four indicators of students’ moral approach. The implications of our findings to RME, business schools, and other stakeholders are discussed.

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