Moral Development and Narcissism of Private and Public University Business Students

Journal of Business Ethics, 99(3), 325-334

By Shanda Traiser and Myron A. Eighmy

Abstract: In this study, researchers examined the assumption that senior-level undergraduate students from private colleges universities possess higher levels of moral and ethical development than students from public institutions. In addition, the researchers sought to determine (a) if there was a relationship between narcissistic personality traits and the level of moral reasoning, and (b) there was a difference in the level of narcissistic personality tendencies of business students from private vs. public institutions based on demographic and textual variables. A cluster sampling approach was used in the sample selection. The sample was limited to students majoring in general business at seven public and six private universities in North Dakota and Minnesota. A total of 269 subjects participated in the research project: 145 at private institutions and 124 at public institutions. The Defining Issues Test version 2 (DIT-2) and the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) were used to collect data at seven public and six private institutions. Students from public and private universities scored similarly on the DIT-2. A significant difference between the NPI scores of the private college students and the public college students was found. No significant relationship was found between the NPI score and level of moral reasoning. Business educators should be concerned that an increase in the number of business ethics courses completed did not significantly impact students’ moral reasoning or narcissistic traits. 

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 by agomberg
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