Journal of Business Ethics 80 (3):499-514 (2008)

In this article, cluster analysis is used to explore the conflicting results reported when the Defining Issues Test is used to explain moral reasoning ability in business situations. Using a convenience sample, gender, age, work experience, and ethics training were examined to determine their impact on the level of moral reasoning ability as measured by the Defining Issues Test. Using the whole sample, a significant difference was found for average P scores reported for males and females, but no significant differences were found based on age, work experience, and ethics training. However, the sample fell into distinct clusters that identified distinct male and female groupings. While females naturally fell into two distinct high- and low-moral reasoning ability clusters, male clusters were dominated more by work experience and ethics training. Clearly there are other factors mitigating the level of moral reasoning ability for males which require further exploration. The findings suggest that while the P score provides an initial point of comparison, the real benefit to the test is in exploring what is different for males and females in terms of training needs, and the impact of work experience on the moral reasoning ability, and most importantly, how to make ethics training enticing. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Keywords moral reasoning ability  ethics training  Defining Issues Test  age  gender  cluster analysis  ethical decision-making
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9451-z
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The Measurement of Moral Judgment.Anne Colby - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.

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