Articles in this week’s Research tidbits consider the practice and teaching of ethical behaviour in the education environment.
Academic integrity intention and behaviour in business students: Plagiarism and sharing homework
Academic integrity (AI) violations on college campuses continue to be a significant concern that draws public attention. Even though AI has been the subject of numerous studies offering explanations and recommendations, academic dishonesty persists.
Consequently, this has rekindled interest in understanding AI behaviour and its influencers. This paper focuses on the AI violations of plagiarism and sharing homework for freshman business students, examining the factors that influence a student’s intention to plagiarise or share homework with others.
Using a sample of more than 1300 freshman business students over 2 years, these authors modelled intent to plagiarise and intent to share homework using factors in the Theory of Planned Behaviour in addition to past violation behaviour and moral obligation (feelings of guilt). Based on the results of this study, attitude, perceived behavioural control, subjective norm, and in addition past behaviour and moral obligation, were found to significantly influence an individual’s intention to violate academic integrity (for plagiarism and sharing homework when asked not to do so), explaining 33 and 35 % of the variance in intention to commit an AI violation for sharing homework and plagiarism, respectively.
These results contribute to a better understanding of individuals’ motivations for plagiarising and sharing homework, which is a necessary step toward reducing academic integrity violations.
Timothy Paul Cronan, Jeffrey K. Mullins and David E. Douglas. 2018. Further Understanding Factors that Explain Freshman Business Students’ Academic Integrity Intention and Behavior: Plagiarism and Sharing Homework.
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), 197–220.
Teaching the common good in business ethics
This paper addresses the instructional challenges of teaching business ethics in a way shaped by Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Focusing on the concept of the Common Good in CST, author Mark Ryan describes his use of a case narrative in classroom instruction to help students understand the concept of the Common Good and to perceive the variety of ways businesses can serve or undermine the Common Good in a small city. Through these pedagogical explorations, he illustrates the distinctive vision of business ethics that flows from CST.
Mark R. Ryan. 2018. Teaching the Common Good in Business Ethics: A Case Study Approach.
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(4), 693–704.
Strengthening values by reconsidering the “invisible hand” metaphor in business schools
The main contention of this paper is that our ability to embed a consideration of values into business school curricula is hampered by certain normative parameters that our students have when entering the classroom. If we don’t understand the processes of valuation that underpin our students’ reasoning, our ethics teaching will inevitably miss its mark.
In this paper, the authors analyse one of the most prevalent metaphors that underpin moral arguments about business, and reveal the beliefs and assumptions that underpin it. By revisiting the content of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor, the writers show that the moral content of the metaphor has been significantly misconstrued through its subsequent reception in economic theory. The “Giving Voice to Values” (GVV) pedagogy aims to enable students to act on their tacit values and address the rationalisations that they may encounter for not acting on these values (Gentile in Giving voice to values. How to speak your mind when you know what’s right, Yale University Press, Yale, 2010a; Discussions about ethics in the accounting classroom: student assumptions and faculty paradigms, Darden Business Publishing, 2010b.
http://store.darden.virginia.edu/Syllabus%20Copy/Discussions-about-Ethics-in-Accounting_S.pdf; Educating for values-driven leadership across the curriculum: giving voice to values, Business Expert Press, New York, 2013).
The authors believe their analysis can strengthen the employment of GVV in three ways: (1) understanding tacit blockages to moral action, i.e., how students’ belief in the moral efficacy of the invisible hand could undermine their own sense of moral duty; (2) addressing common rationalisations that may emerge from different assumptions about morally appropriate courses of action in the workplace; and (3) resolving values conflicts on how to act.
Read this Open Access article online for free
Mollie Painter-Morland, Rosa Slegers and Mollie Painter-Morland. 2018. Strengthening “Giving Voice to Values” in Business Schools by Reconsidering the “Invisible Hand” Metaphor.
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(4), 807–819.
Insights from the Catholic Identity Matrix for business schools
This paper addresses how the leaders of a Catholic business school can articulate and assess how well their schools implement the following six principles drawn from Catholic social teaching (CST):
(1) produce goods and services that are authentically good;
(2) foster solidarity with the poor by serving deprived and marginalised populations;
(3) advance the dignity of human work as a calling;
(4) exercise subsidiarity;
(5) promote responsible stewardship over resources; and
(6) acquire and allocate resources justly.
The authors first discuss how the CST principles give substantive content and meaning to the Good Goods, Good Work, and Good Wealth framework in The Vocation of the Business Leader (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Vocation of the business leader, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City, 2012) and then discuss their congruencies and tensions with the UNGC and UNPRME principles.
Next, the paper describes the Catholic Identity Matrix, an assessment tool that provides a quantitative and qualitative portrait of how well a Catholic business school integrates, within the scope of its mission and capacities, the three goods and related CST principles in its strategies, policies, activities, and processes. The concluding section discusses implications for ongoing UNGC and UNPRME assessment, reporting, and development efforts, and addresses the generalisability of this approach to business schools who draw their inspiration and moral principles from other faith-based or secular traditions.
Kenneth E. Goodpaster, T. Dean Maines, Michael Naughton and Brian Shapiro. 2018. Using UNPRME to Teach, Research, and Enact Business Ethics: Insights from the Catholic Identity Matrix for Business Schools.
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(4), 761–777.
How to teach ethics in business schools
In this interview-based article, a panel of business ethicists explores the relationship between behavioural and normative approaches to business ethics. Spurred by the meteoric rise of behavioural ethics over the last decade, the interview probes whether normative and behavioural ethics can and should be integrated as a matter of pedagogy.
Although the panellists diverge in the extent to which they emphasise normative or behavioural ethics in their teaching, a consensus emerges around the proposition that a business ethics course must tackle the integration of normative and behavioural approaches. In the course of the interview, a variety of strategies for doing so are introduced, and the authors conclude with two different conceptions for synthesising the approaches, each proposed to make these insights accessible to instructors, whether trained in social science, philosophy, or law.
The “map-and-car” conception relies upon normative ethics to define one’s desired path and behavioural ethics to address the means for getting there given what we are like as humans, whereas the “spaghetti” model—drawing precedent from virtue ethics—conceives as intertwined the numerous threads of normative and behavioural ethics. Concrete teaching concepts for experimenting with these ideas are presented.
Gastón de los Reyes, Jr., Tae Wan Kim and Gary R. Weaver. 2017. Teaching Ethics in Business Schools: A Conversation on Disciplinary Differences, Academic Provincialism, and the Case for Integrated Pedagogy.
Academy of Management Learning & Education, Vol. 16, No. 2
Essays, Dialogues & Interviews.
Published Online: https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2014.0402
Relationships among volunteer income tax assistance participation and ethical judgment and decision making
The Pathways Commission (http://www.pathwayscommission.org, 2012) calls on accounting educators to develop students’ skills in ethical judgment and decision making, but there is uncertainty about how best to accomplish this task.
The researchers test if participation in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs is positively associated with students’ ethical judgment and decision making. Using a questionnaire administered to students participating in VITA and students not participating in VITA at seven universities, the researchers form multiple measures of students’ ethical judgment and students’ ethical decision making. Regression analyses reveal that VITA participation is positively and significantly associated with ethical judgment and, in certain cases, is also positively and significantly associated with ethical decision making, even after controlling for other determinants including completion of ethics courses.
The writers conclude that VITA programs can be effective educational interventions to promote ethical development in students. This study adds to the growing literature on positive student outcomes associated with VITA participation, provides empirical evidence to support the tenets of situated learning and service-learning theories, and contributes to the development of effective ethics education.
Anne L. Christensen and Angela Woodland. 2018. Participation and Ethical Judgment and Decision Making.
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(3), 529–543.