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Carlson and Burke - Lessons Learned from Ethics in the Classroom: Exploring Student Growth in Flexibility, Complexity and Comprehension

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Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Publisher Springer Netherlands
ISSN 0167-4544 (Print) 1573-0697 (Online)
Issue Volume 17, Number 11 / August, 1998
DOI 10.1023/A:1005740923813
Pages 1179-1187
Subject Collection Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
SpringerLink Date Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Patricia J. Carlson and Frances Burke

This study shows the link between teaching ethics in a college setting and the evolution of student thinking about ethical dilemmas. At the beginning of the semester, students have a rigid "black and white" conception of ethics. By the end of the semester, they are thinking more flexibly about the responsibilities of leaders in corporate ethical dilemmas, and they are able to appreciate complex situations that influence ethical behavior. The study shows that education in ethics produces more "enlightened" consumers of ethics information who are able to make sound determinations about responsibility in ethical dilemmas.