10.5840/jbee2011813

Journal of Business Ethics Education 1 (1):13-30 (2000)
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Abstract

A key goal for a professional ethics teacher is to help students improve their moral reasoning within the context of their profession, with the ultimate aim of developing a commitment to the values of their future profession. Using Rest’s Four Component Model as a framework, this study examines the relationship between the first two components of moral sensitivity and moral judgment. The study utilises two scores from the same cohort of computing undergraduates: a score for ethical sensitivity using a devised dilemma analysis; and a score for change in moral judgment resulting from an educational intervention, using the Defining Issues Test. Although average DIT scores showed no significant improvement in moral judgment, this study found that levels of ethical sensitivity had a significant impact on the development of moral judgment. The paper provides evidence that ethical sensitivity appears to play a key role in the development of moral judgment. Therefore an initial key objective critical to any ethics course should be to raise student levels of ethical sensitivity as a necessary foundation for development of moral judgment. The paper also highlights the wide range of levels of ethical sensitivity measured within one cohort and suggests targeted learning support should be provided to students who score in the lower part of the scale to raise their levels of moral sensitivity early in the course

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Suzy Jagger
University of Roehampton

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