Improving consistency for DIT results using cluster analysis

Carmel Herington*, Scott Weaven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, cluster analysis is used to explore the conflicting results reported when the Defining Issues Test is used to explain moral reasoning ability in business situations. Using a convenience sample, gender, age, work experience, and ethics training were examined to determine their impact on the level of moral reasoning ability as measured by the Defining Issues Test. Using the whole sample, a significant difference was found for average P scores reported for males and females, but no significant differences were found based on age, work experience, and ethics training. However, the sample fell into distinct clusters that identified distinct male and female groupings. While females naturally fell into two distinct high- and low-moral reasoning ability clusters, male clusters were dominated more by work experience and ethics training. Clearly there are other factors mitigating the level of moral reasoning ability for males which require further exploration. The findings suggest that while the P score provides an initial point of comparison, the real benefit to the test is in exploring what is different for males and females in terms of training needs, and the impact of work experience on the moral reasoning ability, and most importantly, how to make ethics training enticing. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-514
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving consistency for DIT results using cluster analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this