Ethical scandals of the 2000s (e.g. Enron, Andersen Consulting) shook the core of businesses worldwide in a multitude of ways. Most importantly, they influenced the way ethics is taught and understood in business schools. Still, ethical challenges remain in businesses.
NDSU-COB faculty members Drs. Chanchai Tangpong and Jin Li along with Michael Michalisin at Penn State Worthington has recently studied this issue. They developed the notion of "Ethical Receptive Capacity" (ERC; i.e., individuals' capacity to receive ethical contents).
How and when do business students acquire ethics knowledge?
Their studies indicate that the individuals in the early stage of their profession have higher ERC and thus are more receptive to new ethical contents prescribed to them. They suggest that business ethics education should be introduced to students as early as possible in their business program. Their paper based on the findings is to be published in International Journal of Society Systems Science, Special Issue on Business Ethics in Social Science.