Impact of Sex, College, Major, and Student's Perception of Ethics

Purpose of Research

The purpose of the research paper on ethics was to find out the various factors that affected the ethics of students in schools. The research concentrated on five factors that included the impact of the education instructor and the faculty instructor on the ethics of students. It wanted to find out whether the students really believed if their instructors have the ability of influencing their ethical behavior (Lau, Caracciolo, Roddenberry, & Scroggins, 2011). It also concentrated on what the attitude of different students towards cheating was. By considering this fact, the researchers would know whether the students view cheating as a normal practice in classes or it is unethical and should be discouraged ( Smyth, Davis, Kroncke, 2009). It also wanted to find out if students used information technology during cheating. Furthermore, the research aimed to find out the importance of ethics among the students in campus. Lastly, it wanted to discover if there was a good ethical environment in schools. This research may advance business and management practices. If the management of businesses how the teachings of ethics by instructor affect the ethical behavior of students, then they will only hire professionals who have undergone teachings on ethics. If management of businesses knows the attitude of students towards cheating, then they will only hire students who have a negative attitude towards cheating (Trevino & Nelson, 2010). If the businesses know the impact of information technology towards various forms of cheating, then they will install tight internal controls to avoid fraud in their financial transactions. This research will also advance business management since the management will be able if students know the importance of ethics and thus they will only hire employees who know the importance of ethics. It is also important since the management will know how the campus environment influence the ethics of students and thus it will try its best in ensuring that it creates favorable environment for employees to adopt good ethical practices.

Design/Methodology/ Approach

The article used epistemological approach to obtain its sources of knowledge. It used the intuitive knowledge in coming up with the initial idea for the research (Bryman & Bell, 2007). It used authoritative knowledge when it reviewed literature from Cheng and Tang. It used logical knowledge when reasoning on the findings from the data collected on ethics from the students. It used empirical knowledge when collecting data using questionnaires and sample population. The research also used ontology approach to obtain data. This approach deals with the question of what entities exist (Bryman &Bell, 2007). The research concentrated on whether the students in various institutions observed ethics. This method also shows how researchers can group different entities. The 0researchers grouped the population into males and females for easier analysis. Furthermore, the questionnaire grouped some disciplines together based on the commonality and nature of academic fields to reduce the number of selections to more manageable manner .The research used deductive research approach. This approach uses a reasoning that works from more general to information that is more specific (Bryman & Bell, 2007). The researcher starts with thinking a theory about the topic of interest. In this research, the theory for the topic was that it is important for every student to learn about ethics and avoid any form of cheating in exams. The next step for this approach is forming a hypothesis. The hypothesis for this research was education plays an important role in teaching students about ethics and that their faculty and staff help them develop values, incorporate ethics training in the classroom and enforce ethical standards onto their students. The next step in this approach is collecting observations to test the hypothesis (Bryman & Bell, 2007). This research used several methods of collecting observation. It collected data using survey questionnaire and sample population. The last confirmation where the data collected is tested to prove the hypothesis. The researchers tested the data on the research on ethics using the Cronbach’s alpha test. The methodology applied in this research was survey questionnaire and sample population.  The survey questionnaire was appropriate to the topic since it enabled the researcher used to solicit information on demographics, ethicality across major fields of study, sources of ethics education, their preferred method of punishment and their perception of cheating. It also enabled the grouping of disciplines based on the commonality and nature of academic fields in an attempt of reducing the number of selections to a more manageable manner. In addition to this, the survey questions formed a core foundation of the research. Questionnaires is an important method for data collection since it allows a large amounts of information to be collected by the researcher within a short period of time and while incurring minimal costs (Monsen& Horn, 2007). In addition to this, the researcher with software packages can easily quantify the results obtained from a questionnaire. Furthermore, researcher can easily analyze data collected using this method scientifically and objectively compared to the other forms of research methods. The use of sampling population method was also appropriate for the topic of research on ethics. The sample population consisted of students enrolled in midsized, liberal arts, four year, and Virginian public institution. The male/female ratio of the study group was 1 to 2. 96% of the students were from the state, 12 % minority students and 1% foreign students. Sampling is important since it saves the costs that the researcher would have incurred if he/she obtained information from the whole population (Monsen & Horn, 2007). It is also highly representative if all the subjects participate in giving correct information.

Findings and evaluation

I was interested in reading this article so that I could find out what the impact of sex, college, major and the classification of students on students perception of ethics. The research questions and issues used by this article are clear. The article quotes several theories and literature. It quotes the theory of Cheng and Tang (2006) which states that business students have a stronger success for financial success as opposed to psychology majors who are motivated to helping others and hence have higher ethical standards. Cheng and Tang also suggested that male students have a higher propensity to cheat compared to female. Their findings were also the same with the findings of Klein, Levenburg, Mckendall and Mothersell (2007), Borkowski and Ugras(1998), Smyth, Davis and Kronke (2009). The research also adopted the theory by Kitahara, Westfall and Mankelwicz (2011) who suggested that deployment of a technology-based proctor system for exams would help reduce cheating and ensure verification of identity.nce put forward by. There is evidence put forward by this article that supports the arguments from these authors.  The study conducted by the researchers in this article concurred with the findings of Smyth Davis and Kronke (2009) that business students have the lowest ethical standards compared to non-business students hence more prone to cheating. The results also revealed that male students were less ethical compared to female students concurring with the theory of Borkowski and Ugras (1998) and Smyth, Davis and Kronke (2009). The evidence also revealed the students’ attitude towards cheating and the way they perceived that punishment would influence their ethical behavior (Tang & Cheng, 2008). The evidence of this study was collected using population sampling and questionnaires. Analysis of the data was carried out using t-test, one way variance and bivariate cross tabulation. Sample response rate was 15.5%. Researchers tested the reliability of the data using Cronbach’s alpha. Four factors of the study passed Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.6 and hence they were reliable. The impact of education and faculty instructor on ethics obtained an alpha value of 0.703, Students attitude towards teaching obtained an alpha value of 0.685, use of information technology obtained an alpha value of 0.745, and importance of ethics obtained an alpha value of 0.614. This research had several limitations. The researcher used questionnaire method and there is a possibility that the respondents interviewed might have given wrong answers leading to wrong evaluation. There is also a possibility that the sample selected by the researchers was not representative of the whole population. The sample response rate was also low standing at 15.5%.

Practical Implications

This article contributes to knowledge and management practice. It is important since it shows the high rates of cases of unethical behavior among students pursuing business professional courses. This proves to the management that they need to implement code of ethics that all the employees should follow in order to minimize the cases of frauds among the employees (Weiss, 2008). The article is also important since it gives us the knowledge that males are more unethical compared to female and thus management should watch the male employees closely to identify cases of frauds. This article also proves that if management adopted information technology methods and automated all their records, then cases of unethical behavior would reduce (Trevino & Nelson, 2010). It also proves if management all the employees on the importance of observing ethics, then cases of unethical behavior in the organization would reduce.  When management ensures that all its employees are ethical, it will not have trouble in achieving its objectives. If an organization has a strong code of ethics that is followed all the employees, then its corporate image is likely to improve leading to a boost of its company sales hence increasing profit.

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