Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Donna Wood


This thesis will begin with an in-depth look at the major corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom. After that, the thesis will describe the background history of business ethics in America, looking at how capitalism has evolved and shaped our business environment and sometimes influenced the decisions we make. A description of the legislative history involving business ethics will follow, including explanations of how laws such as Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected business ethics policies and practices in the United States, as well as the expansion of business ethics-related statutes including the recent Sarbanes-Oxley legislation that has changed business reporting and management processes.

After delving into the background of ethics in business, this paper will address the arguments for and against business ethics in schools, including opinions from professors, business deans, students, and professionals in the workplace. In addition, it will explain the different methods teachers use when addressing business ethics in the classroom and why they choose to use these methods over others.

Finally, this thesis will analyze the established research findings and form a conclusion as to whether people truly make better ethical decisions in the business environment once they have taken ethics classes. This analysis will determine whether the future for ethics is bright in terms of corporate social responsibility and accepted ethical decision-making in the workplace.

Year of Submission



Department of Management

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (67 pages)