This study asked college students (n=454) from four different locations to determine their course of action in response to ethical dilemmas based on scenarios from previous students’ personal reports and well-publicized events (e.g. Enron, WorldCom, and Martha Stewart). Results provide support to a previous study (Fredricks & Hornett, 2005), indicating that students are more likely to take ethical action where kinship is a factor than where it is not. In addition, this study provides empirical support to the ‘bystander effect’ (Zyglidopoulos & Fleming, 2008). Students, given information on how others are acting, respond to ethical dilemmas. The effect of the behavior of others moves them from innocent bystanders to guilty perpetrators (Zyglidopoulos & Fleming, 2008). Therefore, this study provides empirical support for theories that relationships impact ethical judgment and behavior. These findings pose implications for ethics pedagogy.
Fredricks, Susan; Ramsey, Michele; and Hornett, Andrea
"Kinship and Bystander Effect: The Role of Others in Ethical Decisions,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics:
Vol. 2, Article 2.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol2/iss1/2