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Measuring the Ethical Orientation of MBA Students: A Scale Development
C Manohar Reddy
Published in SSRN
2012
Pages: 1 - 25
Abstract

This paper describes the process of development of a context-specific scale to measure the Ethical Orientation of Indian MBA students. There has been a lot of interest regarding Business Ethics during the last two decades and Business Ethics courses have become part of MBA curriculum in many business schools. But our understanding of the impact of business education on the Ethical Orientation of MBA students remains inadequate. This exercise of scale development is a part of a larger study aimed at understanding the impact of the Business Education on the MBA students. Survey of literature indicates that scales for measuring 'Ethical Orientation' are predominantly quantifications of normative ethical philosophies like, 'Teleology9, 'Deontology', 'Relativism' and 'Justice'. Some researchers also developed descriptive context-specific scales. Objective of this study is development of a context- specific scale to measure the 'Ethical Orientation' of Indian MBA students. As part of this process, a list of items, which captures the construct 'Ethical Orientation' as applied to MBA students has been identified, Face Validity and Content Validity has been verified. In addition dimensionality of the scale has been assessed through exploratory factor analysis and Reliability has been checked by making use of the Chronbach Alpha Test. To develop a purified scale this process has been repeated twice with independent samples. This process of purification resulted in the development Qf a Purified six-dimensional Ethical Orientation Scale with 16-items. These dimensions have been labelled as 4Situationalism$ackslash$'Ethical Schism', "Preparedness to Pay the Price', 'Relativism', 'Competition Ethics' and 'Capitalist Ethic'. While two of these six dimensions are similar to the dimensions identified in the literature, the other four appear to be new. The descriptive and context-specific focus of this research might have been the reason for the emergence of these new dimensions. Rather than a single Ethical Orientation score, this six-dimensional context-specific scale seems to be capable of providing much greater insight into the 'Ethical Orientation' of MBA students. While this exercise of scale development has given a deeper insight into the structure of the 'Ethical Orientation' of Indian MBA students, to ensure that the scale captures all the significant dimensions of the 'Ethical Orientation' of the MBA students and meets all the essential psychometric requirements, further testing and development of this scale may be necessary.