Journal of Business Ethics 133 (3):583-603 (2016)

This study explores the effect of a short ethics intervention—a chapter of business ethics in a business course—on perceptions of business courses and personal values toward making money and making ethical decisions and Monetary Intelligence. Since attitudes predict intentions and behaviors, Monetary Intelligence, a form of social intelligence, is defined as the extent to which individuals monitor their own monetary motive, behavior, and cognition; apply the information to evaluate critical concerns and options; select strategies to achieve financial goals; and reach ultimate success and subjective well-being. I theorize that the affective aspect of MI is unrelated to perceptions of “course work,” yet it is positively related to their “personal values” toward making money, but negatively related to making ethical decisions. Individuals with high MI have low interests in making money, but high levels of intrinsic religiosity and recall of the Ten Commandments and high interests in making ethical decisions and making the grade. Based on data from multiple panels and multiple sources, this study provides the following discoveries. Contrary to expectations, there are no differences in students’ perceptions of course work and their personal values toward making money and making ethical decisions between two measures—before and after the ethics intervention. Results of this study not only provide empirical supports for the bright side of theory of Monetary Intelligence but also reveal a new paradox—recall of the Ten Commandments is positively related to making ethical decisions, but negatively related to making money. Results illustrate important theoretical, empirical, and practical implications to the literature of money attitudes, religiosity, intrinsic motivation, and business ethics.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-014-2411-5
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