Does lower-stage ethical reasoning emerge in more familiar contexts ?

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four real-life dilemma cases collected from Hong Kong managers were included, along with two other cases previously used by Weber (1991), in an instrument designed to assess ethical reasoning capacity. This was completed by 86 part-time post-graduate students, all of whom were managers with at least four years working experience. Respondents' measured ethical reasoning capacity appeared to be at least as high as comparable samples in the U.S.A. The mean ethical reasoning stage varied between cases. Contrary to expectations, the unfamiliarityper se of a case did not affect ethical reasoning which instead tended toward higher measured stages when issues of public hazard or environmental pollution were introduced, and toward lower measured stages where personal or family finances were at stake. Two methodological points were made signalling the need for caution in research of this kind. First, because of reservations about the adequacy of the standard Kohlbergian model of ethical reasoning development, a scoring guide based on a revised Kohlbergian model of ethical reasoning was used to analyze the replies, rendering comparisons with other samples inexact. Second, the possible phenomenon of quasi Stage Five reasoning renders problematic the identification of “true” Stage Five ethical reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-976
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

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manager
environmental pollution
Hong Kong
finance
graduate
experience
student
Ethical reasoning
time
Managers

Keywords

  • Economic Growth
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Stake
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Comparable Sample

Cite this

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title = "Does lower-stage ethical reasoning emerge in more familiar contexts ?",
abstract = "Four real-life dilemma cases collected from Hong Kong managers were included, along with two other cases previously used by Weber (1991), in an instrument designed to assess ethical reasoning capacity. This was completed by 86 part-time post-graduate students, all of whom were managers with at least four years working experience. Respondents' measured ethical reasoning capacity appeared to be at least as high as comparable samples in the U.S.A. The mean ethical reasoning stage varied between cases. Contrary to expectations, the unfamiliarityper se of a case did not affect ethical reasoning which instead tended toward higher measured stages when issues of public hazard or environmental pollution were introduced, and toward lower measured stages where personal or family finances were at stake. Two methodological points were made signalling the need for caution in research of this kind. First, because of reservations about the adequacy of the standard Kohlbergian model of ethical reasoning development, a scoring guide based on a revised Kohlbergian model of ethical reasoning was used to analyze the replies, rendering comparisons with other samples inexact. Second, the possible phenomenon of quasi Stage Five reasoning renders problematic the identification of “true” Stage Five ethical reasoning.",
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Does lower-stage ethical reasoning emerge in more familiar contexts ? / SNELL, Robin.

In: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 14, No. 12, 12.1995, p. 959-976.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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