Students' Views of Ethical Behavior and the Impact of Association

Publication Title

Marketing Education Review

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Document Type



students, ethical behavior, impact of association


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Marketing | Other Business | Philosophy


This study provides support for the better-than-average effect with respect to ethical decision-making, and the influence of personal contact on these perceptions. Using data from marketing students at two major universities over two time periods, the findings indicate that students believe their own behavior to be more ethical than either their friends' or advertising agency executives' behavior. Gender influenced perceptions of ethical decision-making for some types of questionable behavior, with women reporting higher ethical standards in these cases. Few changes were observed over time. Implications of these findings for teaching business students are discussed.