Intelligence Vs. Wisdom: The Love of Money, Machiavellianism, and Unethical Behavior across College Major and Gender

Journal of Business Ethics 82 (1):1-26 (2008)

Abstract
This research investigates the efficacy of business ethics intervention, tests a theoretical model that the love of money is directly or indirectly related to propensity to engage in unethical behavior (PUB), and treats college major (business vs. psychology) and gender (male vs. female) as moderators in multi-group analyses. Results suggested that business students who received business ethics intervention significantly changed their conceptions of unethical behavior and reduced their propensity to engage in theft; while psychology students without intervention had no such changes. Therefore, ethics training had some impacts on business students' learning and education (intelligence). For our theoretical model, results of the whole sample (N = 298) revealed that Machiavellianism (measured at Time 1) was a mediator of the relationship between the love of money (measured at Time 1) and unethical behavior (measured at Time 2) (the Love of Money → Machiavellianism → Unethical Behavior). Further, this mediating effect existed for business students (n = 198) but not for psychology students (n = 100), for male students (n = 165) but not for female students (n = 133), and for male business students (n = 128) but not for female business students (n = 70). Moreover, when examined alone, the direct effect (the Love of Money → Unethical Behavior) existed for business students but not for psychology students. We concluded that a short business ethics intervention may have no impact on the issue of virtue (wisdom)
Keywords intelligence  wisdom  love of money  Machiavellianism  unethical behavior  business ethics education  college major (business vs. psychology)  gender  moderator
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9559-1
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