Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to closely assess the level of business ethics education in one of the Lebanese educational institutions, namely the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) through shedding light on how the Faculty of Business and Economics' curriculum is set to meet the national and regional markets' requirements of sound business education. Design/methodology/approach - Descriptive, analytical and statistical analyses are used in this study. Findings - The study reveals several factors that affect business ethics education at AUST, namely students' ethics literacy and ethical perceptions, students' attitudes towards ethical issues, ethics and personal actions, personal morality, religious and ethical business conducts. This is in addition to the impact of formal business ethics education as implemented in the university's curriculum. Research limitations/implications - Several insights could be inferred from this study. First, business ethics could be taught if a comprehensive formal and purposeful direction exists in an institution to make students internalize their perception of business ethics. Accordingly, the Faculty of Business and Economics is recommended to provide formal coverage of an ethics chapter in all business fields, and objectively expose the differences in applications as related to culture and national preferences; and third, reinforce the use of case studies on ethics dilemmas and make such studies obligatory for all majors. Another insight that is considered an important outcome of the study is its academic contribution to the few publications found on the subject matter in Lebanon and the region. Its results can be used by Middle Eastern educational institutions to analyze the reported western ethics' know how and practices and perform a series of research projects to address the differences between these two cultures in perception, applicability, sensitivity to beliefs and their influence on the way business is conducted in Lebanon and the surrounding Arab nations. Finally, this paper is an eye opener to the fact that individual's religious entity and beliefs may make a difference in the formation of ethical judgment and decision making. However, further research studies on the latter issue is needed, knowing that Lebanon is considered a mosaic religious community with 18 different official religions. Practical implications - The findings presented in this research can be used by Middle Eastern as well as by Western academicians, managers, employees, and students as an eye opener to the implications of business ethics education on decision making. Originality/value - The paper adds to the minimal body of knowledge of business ethics education in the Middle East; and its findings constitute a catalyst for further research on how ethics education enhances students' future decision making in the real world.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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