Business ethics has become a serious challenge for business community over the past several decades. The challenge is even bigger in a multicultural country like Malaysia. Moral reasoning is one of the critical elements that determine their ethical behavior of managers at workplace. This study explored the influence of 3 independent variables –demographic variables, personal values, and religiosity on moral reasoning of business students who are the future managers and business leaders. The influence of ethical climate as a contextual variable on the relationship between independent variables and dependent variable was also explored. The study relies on Kohlberg’s Cognitive Moral Development Theory, Victor and Cullen’s Ethical Work Climate Theory and Rokeach’s Value Theory. The short form of James Rest’s Defining Issues Test (DIT) was utilized as the instrument to measure moral reasoning ability of the respondents. Questionnaires containing the DIT, and measurements for other independent variables and moderating variable were distributed to undergraduate business students of a private university in Selangor, Malaysia. 217 completed questionnaires were returned. Data analysis showed that ethnicity, age, religiosity, and personal values significantly influence students’ moral reasoning. Ethical climate moderated some of the relationships between independent variables and dependent variables. The data gathered through the study would be very valuable for policy makers such as the government, universities, and business organizations in discovering the current state of moral reasoning ability of the business students who will be future managers and business leaders. The understanding on the present state of moral reasoning ability of the business students is an important platform for the policy makers to come up with effective ethics initiatives.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Canadian Journal on Scientific and Industrial Research|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2011|