Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Roni Reiter-Palmon

Second Advisor

Lynn K. Harland

Third Advisor

Cary S. Ryan


This research explores the roles that values, conscientiousness, and self-efficacy play in ethical decision-making. Although previous research has shown that values affect ethical decision-making, few researchers have evaluated the effect that conscientiousness has on ethical decision-making. Research has evaluated the effect that self-efficacy has on ethical decision-making, but a relationship has not been found. The current study hypothesizes that individuals high in self-transcendence values will make more ethical decisions than individuals high in self-enhancement values. Also, individuals high in conscientiousness are expected to make more ethical decisions than individuals low in conscientiousness. Third, individuals high in self-efficacy are expected to make more ethical decisions than individuals low in self-efficacy. Finally, values are expected to moderate the relationship that conscientiousness and self-efficacy have on ethical decision-making. The study was conducted on 148 students enrolled in graduate business courses. The results revealed that values affected ethical decision-making. Individuals high in self-enhancement values made less ethical organizational decisions.

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