Title page for ETD etd-08112012-180313

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Van der Scholtz, Lance
URN etd-08112012-180313
Document Title Determining the moderating effect of age on the relationship between education and level of cognitive moral reasoning
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Mr G Price Supervisor
  • cognitive moral reasoning
  • unethical behaviour
  • decision making
  • postconventional thought
Date 2012-03-08
Availability unrestricted
Ethics in South African business has become a key factor in the success or failure of the economy. The purpose of this study is therefore to gain a deeper understanding of the effect that level of education and type of education has on cognitive moral reasoning, and the moderating effect that age has on these relationships. Of particular interest in this study is the role of business orientated education.

The sample included individuals who have attained various types and levels of education from all religious, racial and socio-economic backgrounds. The instrument used to evaluate the level of cognitive moral reasoning of each individual in the sample was the second version of the Defining Issues Test (DIT) originally by Rest (1979), i.e. DIT-2 adapted by Narvaez, Thoma and Bebeau (1999).

The most significant finding of the research is the apparent surge in postconventional moral thinking of younger people with business oriented education. This finding was significant given previous findings of similar studies regarding age and business students. No significant evidence was found to differentiate males versus females, as well as the influence of level of education.

The results raise the question of the longevity of the effects of ethical training, and whether perhaps the effects are most evident during the time of the training.

2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Van der Scholtz, L 2011, Determining the moderating effect of age on the relationship between education and level of cognitive moral reasoning, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08112012-180313/ >


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