Gender Differences in Academic Ethics with Recommendations for Curricular Change

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Extensive study has been performed on the importance of building ethical principles into secondary school and college curricula. In published surveys, females are almost universally found to be more ethical, but experience tells us females lag behind males in their ability to maintain and act upon their convictions in the workplace. We examined these issues by administering a survey on academic ethics to an undergraduate business school population, focusing heavily on gender differences. Careful analysis of survey results using One-way ANOVA, the Tukey-Kramer and Two-way ANOVA procedures provided an understanding of differences in ethical beliefs and ethical behaviors based on gender and other demographic characterizations. Predictive analysis was completed using Logistic regression and discrete choice modeling to determine the likelihood of ethical behavior in the future and evolution of ethical beliefs. The accumulated results of the analyses were used to guide the authors in the development of a strong and pervasive ethics based curriculum for secondary schools and universities. We have combined elements of classroom instruction, technology, active learning, games and extracurricular activities to embed ethical concepts, and particularly encourage strength in convictions, across entire curricula.

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