Ethical conduct in business organisations: The opinion of management students in Gauteng

Geoff Goldman, Maria Bounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study investigates the perceptions that business and management students have towards ethical practices of businesses organisations in terms of the environment, their employees, community, regulators and competition. Research Design & Methods: This study employed an exploratory survey design to collect primary data via a self-administered questionnaire. Data were collected from 251 business and management students at a national university in Gauteng, South Africa. Apart from reliability statistics and descriptive statistics, one sample t-tests were employed to test stated hypotheses. Findings: The findings showed that students perceived certain aspects of organisations’ ethical conduct in a relatively negative light. Implications & Recommendations: As the study concluded that business and management student perceived the ethical conduct of business organisations in a somewhat negative light, organisations should take heed and better outwardly promote the interests of all stakeholders. Contribution & Value Added: As more than 75% of the students surveyed had working experience, they represent also the opinion of people in the working world. This study reiterates the fact that what whilst organisations profess to act ethically, this does not necessarily seem to be the case. As more research on this issue reaches the same conclusion, this groundswell should effect change in due course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalEntrepreneurial Business and Economics Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Business ethics
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Ethical conduct
  • Exploratory research
  • Stakeholder theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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