Does marketing attract less ethical students? An assessment of the moral reasoning ability of undergraduate marketing students

Carmel Herington*, Scott Weaven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article assesses the level of moral reasoning ability (MRA) of undergraduate marketing students and compares the results with the MRA of students in a range of other business disciplines. The aim was to determine if marketing attracts individuals who have a greater predisposition to unethical behaviors given that marketing is often reported as the most unethical of all business activities. The Defining Issues Test (DIT) was used to measure MRA. Although frequently used to measure the MRA of undergraduate students, the DIT has not been used within the marketing domain. The findings indicate that marketing students do not exhibit a lower level of MRA than other business disciplines. Marketing students are no less ethical in their thinking than those pursuing other business careers. The perception of unethical behavior is more likely to be a product of the visible nature of marketing activities to consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Marketing Education
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

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