Ethical Conduct in Business Organisations: The Opinion of Management Students in Gauteng


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.

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.

The findings showed that students perceived certain aspects of organisations’ ethical conduct in a relatively negative light.

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.

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.


business ethics; corporate citizenship; exploratory research; ethical conduct; stakeholder theory

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Published : 2015-05-05

Goldman, G., & Bounds, M. (2015). Ethical Conduct in Business Organisations: The Opinion of Management Students in Gauteng. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(1), 9-27.

Geoff Goldman
University of Johannesburg  South Africa
Maria Bounds 
University of Johannesburg  South Africa

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