One would expect a relationship between the ethical attitudes and the religion of individuals. Published research into this relationship has found somewhat mixed results. While some studies have found a significant, positive relationship between religious belief and ethical attitudes, other studies have found either no effect or only a “marginal effect”. In this study, we investigate the relationship between religious convictions and attitudes toward ethical dilemmas. We find strong evidence to suggest that business professionals who self-report higher levels of religious importance are significantly less accepting of ethically questionable behavior – for all 16 vignettes studied. This result is far more consistent and significant than for respondents who simply self-classify as “Christian.” Further, we find evidence, consistent with the literature, that older respondents and females also tend to be less accepting of ethically questionable behavior than are younger, male respondents. Finally, we find that professionals working at larger firms tend to be less accepting of ethically questionable behavior than their counterparts at smaller firms.
Emerson, Tisha L. N. and Mckinney, Joseph A.
"Importance of Religious Beliefs to Ethical Attitudes in Business,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics:
Vol. 1, Article 5.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol1/iss2/5