Finding the Lost Sheep: A Panel Study of Business Students' Intrinsic Religiosity, Machiavellianism, and Unethical Behavior Intentions

Ethics and Behavior 20 (5):352-379 (2010)

This research investigates 266 business students' panel data across 4 time periods and tests a theoretical model involving intrinsic religiosity, the love of money, Machiavellianism, and propensity to engage in unethical behaviors. There was a short ethics intervention between Times 3 and 4. We identified good apples and bad apples using the PUB measure collected at Time 4. From Time 3 to Time 4, good apples became more ethical, whereas bad apples became less ethical after the ethics intervention. Moreover, for the whole sample, intrinsic religiosity deterred unethical intentions not only directly but also indirectly through the absence of Machiavellianism. Before the ethics intervention, intrinsic religiosity curbed unethical intention directly for good apples but indirectly for bad apples. After the intervention, only the indirect effect was significant for bad apples. Intrinsic religiosity offers us hope to open the hearts of the lost sheep and bring them home. Research results were discussed in light of this study's theoretical, empirical, and practical contributions; Judeo-Christian ethics and values; challenging roles of educators and executives in educating Gen-Yers; creating a sea change of the ethical social norm in schools, organizations, and society, or ethical community building, and promoting ethical behavior; and future directions for research.
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Reprint years 2011
DOI 10.1080/10508422.2010.491763
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