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Abstract

There is continuing debate about how best to teach ethics to students in business, that is, how best to help them to develop the ethical aspects of their future profession. This debate has covered whether to teach ethics, what to teach and whether it has any effect on students' views or future behaviour. For the most part, the views of the students themselves are in the minority. Yet it seems likely that the most effective pedagogical approaches would be those based on students’ own ideas of the nature of ethics and the role of ethical considerations in their studies and professional lives. The research we report here investigates the nature of such ideas in a cohort of students studying business at an Australian university. We discuss the pedagogical implications of our findings and conclude that approaches that encourage students to become ethically-aware professionals are likely to be most useful.

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