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Survey: women show more ethics in business

Jan. 29, 1997

By Jeff Talbert

Lariat Reporter

Business major Kareen McCollough believes women are more ethical than men in business situations.

A recent survey done by four University professors would show that opinion to be accurate.

Dr.William Weeks, Dr. Carlos Moore, Dr. Joseph McKinney and Dr. Justin Longenecker sent out 10,000 surveys randomly to business people all over the United States to research their ethical stances in given hypothetical situations.

'Men are more willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done,' said McCollough, a Galveston senior. 'Women are more conscious of how people will be affected through the decisions.'

The survey presented 19 ethical vignettes in which participants responded by indicating if the situation was never acceptable, sometimes acceptable or always acceptable.

One example from the survey states, 'In order to increase profits, a general manager used a production process which exceeded legal limits for environmental pollution.'

Those responding had to decide if they agreed with this practice or not.

Chad McWilliams, a business major from Bitburgh, Germany, believes the gender of a person does not make a difference in the ethics of that person.

'It depends on a person's personal ethics and business environment, which varies depending on the person, not the gender,' McWilliams said.

The four professors have used the information from the surveys to draw at least two conclusions: females would have higher ethical standards in more situations than males, and the longer a person is in a career the higher the standard of ethical judgement that person will have.

The professors point out in their report, however, that these responses are based on hypothetical situations, which might not relate to a what a person would do in the actual situation.

McKinney said they are planning to do a survey in the future that will ask participants to describe actual situations they have been in and what they actually did, rather than using hypothetical situations.

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