A new study by Oregon State University researchers finds that business school students do not differ from other students in terms of personal moral philosophies - a finding that contradicts some widely held assumptions about business students and business education. Donald Neubaum, Jack Drexler and Erik Larson of Oregon State University, along with co-authors Mark Pagell of York University and Frances McKee-Ryan of University of Nevada-Reno, surveyed 1,080 business and non-business students. The study will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal. According to lead author Neubaum, the goal was to test the claim held by many critics of business education that financial theories and a "profits-first" attitude within business school curriculum is responsible for ethical scandals in companies such as Enron. "How a business school education affects the personal moral philosophies and attitudes on profit and sustainability of students has been a subject of much debate in and out of business schools in recent years," Neubaum said. "While some prior research has examined the ethical attitudes of business and non-business students, no study has compared the moral philosophies of business and non-business students who are at different points in their college careers.
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