KnE Social Sciences | The First International Research Conference on Economics and Business (IRCEB) | pages: 442–456

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Business ethic has been a highlight, either among practitioners or academics. Among academics, ethical behaviour should have been integrated as a part of life since they are moral example for they have a great role in education. One of common ethic in the society is normative ethic. This ethic sees personal's good and bad behaviour based on living norms among society. According to Snoeyenbos, et al (1983), normative ethic has two common categories. The first category includes a view expressing being care of expected consequence of an action. This view is often called as “teleology” or “from the ends”. The second category includes a view expressing being care of necessity to follow a certain rule and is commonly called as “deontology” or ”of necessity”. This researchexplores students' views of Economic Faculty toward business ethic. The students, in this case, represent academics.

Various research toward students' views on ethic has been conducted abroad. Jeffrey (1993) used Defining Issues Test (DIT) in measuring students' moral education. The research concluded that senior students have in average higher DIT (have a better moral) than the junior ones. Clikeman and Henning (2000) conducted a research about socialization of profession ethic code regarding profit management on accountant students in one of American universities. It concluded that accountant students are less agree with profit management in the last years than in the early years. The similar research was also done by Marriot and Marriot (2003), researchers from England. The research concluded that accountant students have positive beahviour toward accountant profession in the early years and declines in the last years of their study.

Normative Ethic” theory saying that personal's preference in ethic is basically decided by one of two things; the intention of achieving the best consequence (telelology), or the urge to follow a certain rule without being care about the consequence (deontology). Ethic is about statement of right or wrong deciding personal's behaviour is based on moral or not. This ethical statement presented in the form of ethical principles are normatively used to guide someone's behavior being in moral. Conducts such as telling lies, stealing, threatening, breaking someone's property are categorized as unethical and immoral. While being honest, keeping promises, helping each other, and respecting others' rights and obligations are ethically and morally expected to be everyone's behaviour.

Business ethic is an embodiment of series of normative ethic priciples inside business behaviour. In this case, business ethic functions as a guide in determining corporation's conduct in running its business whther it is right or wrong. As known that social life sees dishonesty as enethical behavior. Therefore, a corporation that covers its mistakes or products/services may bring loss to the consumers is considered unethical. So, ethical behaviour in business is basically taken from daily life practices in which business may not determine right or wrong conducts without staking on society's norms. Although, a corporation may get out of ethical demands covering under rules and regulations, society will stil criticize and demand to court to have ethical behaviour in running business.

A survey conducted in United States (2005) found that 52% of labourers in corporation have done unethical deeds, at least once in the form of: being angry with or threatening other labourers; telling lies to friends, consumers, suppliers, society, even superiors to avoid punishment; highlighting more private's preference than corporation's; breaking rules, even rules of health and work savety; telling lies about working hours; hiding and stealing corporation's property; telling inappropriate words, degrading others or doing sexual harrassement, doing discrimination on religion, race, sex etc. Things interensted to answer is: why should business run under ethic? Is not ethical behaviour in line with profit earning?

There are basic reasons why business should run under ethic (Lawrence and Weber 2008). The first reason is, it should be run ethically to fulfill stakeholders' interests. Opinion poll in 2001 (JulietbAltham, 2001) mentioned people from nine of ten countries surveyed chose to run the life based on high ethical standard to increase people's quality of life. It is different from common view of business that prioritizing on profit, ability to pay for tax, following rules, and creating work field. When the society get used to good and ethical lifes, business in return will also managed well and ethical (good corporate governance).

The second reason is positive effect of business ethic toward corporation profitability in the future. A research done by Institute for Business Ethics in England in 1998 showed three important indicators of corporation business growth (EVA, MVA, and PER) by higher numbers on ethical corporation than unethical one. Even more, profit ratio/turnover 18% is higher when management gives commitment to obey the rules and norms than the one which is not commitment to the rules (Izraeli and Schwartz, 1998: 1045-1055).

Some social reseraches showed positive relation between behaviour of socially being responsible and profit rate. Evenmore, the research did not find correlation between business ethic and burden of earning profit. Kenneth Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale dalam Keraf (1998) found that treating employees well has increased corporation profit up to 20% or has decreased product price up to 20%.

This research showed that corporation that is socially responsible and take transaction on stock market commonly earn higher than other corporations. Those all researches showed that using right business ethic did not decrease profit, instead contributed to earnings. For example: a study for two years conducted by The Performance Group,a consortium consisting of Volvo, Unilever, Monsanto, Imperial Chemical Industries, Deutsche Bank, Electrolux, and Gerling found that developing environmentally friendly products and enviromental coplience may increase earning pe share, boost profitability, and guarantee easiness in getting contrancts and agreement of investment.

In 1999, Business and Society Review journal mentioned that 300 big corporations proved of having commitent based on ethic code could increace market value added two up to three points than the ones which did not. Even, the researh before done by DePaul University in 1997 found that corporations that formulated commitment by running ethical principles have better financial performance (based on annual revenue) than the ones did not.

Running business based on ethic commonly becomes basic rules set up by the government for business people. This becomes the third reason why usiness sshould be run ethically based on the laws. On of the examples is implementation of provision Sarbanes-Oxley Act for all American corporations in the world. This provision was released by American government in 2002 after various finacial scandall enganging big corporations such as Enron, Tyco, and WorldCCom.

The fourth reason of business ethic importance is to avoid big loss in the society and stakeholders as the consquence of corporation action. A corporation that disposed of waste to the river will give a big loss to the people living near the river. Besides, it can cause victim among the people near by. Therefore, many government rules set up to avoid fatal loss for many parties. Thomas Hobbes, a philosopher synthesized that society without ethic, distrust, and unlimited personal interest will create war among human that will build brutal life. In this kind of society, it is impossible to do business activities and the whole business will collapse. Therefore, business cannot stand without ethic. So, the most importance of business interest is promoting ethical behaviour to its members and society.

The fifth reason of ethic importance is the firm business competition, business people are aware of consumers are the king. Therefore, the main point to get earnings and stand in the competitive market is to get consumers' trust. This is not easy to obtain in the midst of free and open market, various products and services are offered by competitive price and quality. Once consumers felt deceived, they would turn to other producers. Thus, the main thing business people must do is to show good and ethical image of its business to keep the consumers' trust.

The sixth reason is that modern corporations are aware that employees are not to be exploited to earn much profit, instead they are important corporation assets that determine its sustainability in the copetitive market. This fact urged modern corporations to pay attention to employee's rights and interests and tried to keep them feel confortable working inside by giving them reasonable payment, good appreciation, good behaviour, confortable sitation and fair treatment for all employees. The last reason of keeping business ethic in open market system is government's neutral position to guarantee effectively all parties' rights anda interests. The most effective way is running good and ethical business by avoiding any steps that may cause loss to the parties connected to the business.

According to the description above, the problems of this research are:

  • How are the views of Accounting, Management, and Economic Development Students Toward Business Ethics Position?

  • How Does Study Period Affect Students of Economic Faculty's Views Toward Business Ethic Position?


This researc is quantitative research using descriptive and inferensial statistic to get the conclusion. Descrptive statistic used is mean, deviation standard, minimum and maximum. While inferensial statistic uses normalit test, homogeneity test, one way ANOVA and independent t test using level of significance α = 0,05. The researc design based on relationship between variables is:

Figure 1

Research design.


The research population is all students of Economic Faculty of Malang State University in the academic year of 2016/2017. The sample of the research is:

Table 1


No. Major Year Number
1. Accounting 2016 50
2014 50
2. Management 2016 50
2014 50
3. Economic Development 2016 50
2014 50
Total 300
Source: FE UM, 2017

The data used is primary data which was obtained through questionnaire that was quantified by Likert scale with category. To build realibilty of the questionnair, test of validity and reliability was conducted.

Table 2

Measurements in Social Consequence and Rules Categories.

No Category Phylosophy Description Question Number
1 Social consequences (teleology) Utilitarianism Goodness for many people is the only measurement of right and wrong 1
Selfishness Starve and eviction are prices to pay for advancement 2
Selfishness Something making me interested is something good for society 3
Selfishness Natural morality is for common good, but should be guided by personal's interest 4
Selfishness The social advancement is an undesigned impact of personal's interest in economic pursuit, not an impact of corporation activities 5
2 Social rules (deontology) Justice Juctice will stand when profit distributed in line with principles in which individuals are free and rational receiving the impact of their interests without any knowledgeabout what they should obtain in distribution process. 6
Justice The key of ethic is justice 7
Rights Employees have the rights that must be respected 8
Rights Respecting and protecting the rights are the key of ethic 9
Rights Refusing someone's basic rights such as autonomy, privacy, and dignity is not ethical 10
Source: Baugher and Weisbord, 2009


The result of Instrument of Validity and Reliability Test of 50 Respondents

Validity Test

Table 3

Item-Total Statistics.

Scale Mean if Item Deleted Scale Variance if Item Deleted Corrected Item-Total Correlation Squared Multiple Correlation Cronbach's Alpha if Item Deleted
VAR00001 92.0833 142.631 .502 .920 .895
VAR00002 92.1875 140.411 .579 .925 .892
VAR00003 92.2292 140.563 .594 .894 .892
VAR00004 91.6042 139.776 .696 .937 .890
VAR00005 92.0833 141.355 .617 .897 .892
VAR00006 91.8542 137.914 .676 .942 .890
VAR00007 92.4792 143.617 .390 .849 .898
VAR00008 91.5208 145.702 .434 .830 .896
VAR00009 92.6250 140.324 .504 .762 .895
VAR00010 92.2292 141.244 .468 .883 .896
VAR00011 92.1458 142.553 .519 .920 .894
VAR00012 92.2292 139.372 .604 .937 .892
VAR00013 92.0833 139.355 .660 .844 .890
VAR00014 91.6042 141.648 .663 .822 .891
VAR00015 91.8958 141.457 .504 .836 .894
VAR00016 91.7917 138.296 .671 .907 .890
VAR00017 92.1875 141.985 .452 .798 .896
VAR00018 91.7708 146.351 .339 .792 .899
VAR00019 92.6042 143.053 .361 .727 .900
VAR00020 92.2083 140.764 .455 .808 .896

Items of instrument are considered valid when r arithmetic > r table. Corrected Item-Total Correlationcolumn is r arithmetic for each questionnaire item, r table for testing instrument of 50 respondents is 0.2787. Result of the test of the above table showed that all instrument items have r arithmetic > r table. The conclusion is the instrument used in this research is valid.

Reliability Test

Table 4

Reliability Statistic

Cronbach's Alpha Cronbach's Alpha Based on Standardized Items N of Items
.899 .904 20

An instrument is considered valid if the test result showed Alpha > 0.7. The test result showed that Cronbach's Alpha 0.899 > 0.7. Therefore, it can be concluded that this research interest is reliable.

Normality Test

Table 5

One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test.

Accounting Management Economic Development
N 100 100 100
Normal Parameters a,b Mean 90.6800 87.2100 90.8300
Std. Deviation 8.65370 9.41769 8.82839
Most Extreme Differences Absolute .116 .082 .088
Positive .063 .067 .088
Negative -.116 -.082 -.067
Test Statistic .116 .082 .088
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .142 c .394 c .255 c
  • Test distribution is normal

  • Calculated from data

  • Lilliefors Significance Correction.

The data has normal distribution if the result showed Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) > 0.05. The result of the test above showed that the data taken from the three majors having Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) > 0.05, that can be concluded that the data collected in this research are normally distributed.

Homogeneity Test

Table 6

Test of Homogeneity of Variances.

Students' view toward ethic position
Levene Statistic df1 df2 Sig.
.313 2 297 .732

From the result above it can be seen that the significance is 0.732. Since the significance is beyond 0.05, it can be concluded that three data categories of students' understanding on ethic based on major have the same variant (the data variant taken from three different majors are the same/pass homogeneity test).

Descriptive Analysis


Table 7

Students' view toward ethic position.

N Mean Deviation Standard Minimum Maximum
Accounting 100 90.6800 8.65370 65.00 107.00
Management 100 87.2100 9.41769 31.00 108.00
Economic Development 100 90.8300 8.82839 70.00 110.00
Total 300 89.5733 9.09801 31.00 110.00

Descriptive Statistics

Table 8

Dependent Variable: Students' view toward ethic position.

Major Year Mean Deviation standard N
Accounting 2014 91.4200 7.08862 50
2016 89.9400 9.99675 50
Total 90.6800 8.65370 100
Management 2014 88.5800 7.85868 50
2016 85.8400 10.65864 50
Total 87.2100 9.41769 100
Economic Development 2014 91.0400 6.95161 50
2016 90.6200 10.44302 50
Total 90.8300 8.82839 100
Total 2014 90.3467 7.37034 150
2016 88.8000 10.51557 150
Total 89.5733 9.09801 300

The Views of Accounting, Management, and Economic Development Students Toward Business Ethics Position


Table 9

Students' view toward ethic position.

Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 838.927 2 419.463 5.210 .006
Within Groups 23910.460 297 80.507
Total 24749.387 299

The result of one way Anova test is significance 0.006 smaller than alpha 0.05. Therefore, it can be concluded that there is significant difference of students' view toward ethic position in bisnis among students of accounting, management, and conomic development. Since the result showed Ho is rejected (Ha is accepted/there is a difference). Post-hoc test was conducted using Turkey test to find wich category which is different from the two others.

Multiple Comparisons

Dependent variable: students' view toward ethic position

Table 10

Turkey HSD.

(I) Major (J) Major Mean Difference (I-J) Std. Error Sig. 95% Confidence Interval
Lower Bound Upper Bound
Accounting Management 3.47000 * 1.26891 .018 .4811 6.4589
Economic Development -.15000 1.26891 .992 -3,1389 2.8389
Management Accounting -3.47000 * 1.26891 .018 -6.4589 -.4811
Economic Development -3.62000 * 1.26891 .013 -6.6089 -.6311
Economic Development Accounting ,15000 1.26891 .992 -2.8389 3,1389
Management 3.62000 * 1.26891 .013 .6311 6.6089
*. The mean difference is significant at the 0.05 level.

The result of Turkey test above showed that:

  • Students of accounting and management have significant difference on the view toward ethic position in business (sig 0.018 < 0.05).

  • Students of accounting and economic development do not have significant difference on the view toward ethic position in business (sig 0.992 > 0.05).

  • Students of management and economic development have significant difference on view toward ethic position in business (sig 0.013 < 0.05)

The Effect of Study Period of Economic Faculty Students toward Business Ethic Position

Students of Accounting (between school year of 2014 and 2016)

Table 11

Independent Samples Test

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Views of Accounting Students toward Ethic Position in Business Equal variances assumed 4.332 .040 .854 98 .395 1.48000 1.73311 -1.95930 4.91930
Equal variances not assumed .854 88.332 .395 1.48000 1.73311 -1.96401 4.92401

The result of test using independent t-test showed that students of accounting of 2014 and 2016 have no significant difference on the view toward ethic position in business (sig > 0.005).

Students of Management (between school year of 2014-2016)

Table 12

Independent Samples Test.

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Views of Management Students toward Ethic Position in Business Equal variances assumed .296 .588 1.463 98 .147 2.74000 1.87278 -.97647 6.45647
Equal variances not assumed 1.463 90.122 .147 2.74000 1.87278 -.98054 6.46054

The result of test using independent t-test showed that management students of 2014 and 2016 have no sifnificant difference on view toward ethic position in business (sig > 0.005).

Students of Economic Development (between school year of 2014 and 2016)

Table 13

Independent Samples Test.

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Views of Economic Development Students toward Ethic Position in Business Equal variances assumed 14.712 .000 .237 98 .813 .42000 1.77416 -3.10076 3.94076
Equal variances not assumed .237 85.298 .813 .42000 1.77416 -3.10732 3.94732

The result of test using independent t-test showed that management students of 2014 and 2016 have no significant difference on view toward ethic position in business (sig > 0.005).


There was a significant difference of student's views toward the position of ethics in business among students from accounting, management, and economic development. Moreover, the Tukey test showed that there was a significant difference of student views toward the position of ethics in business between accounting and management students (sig 0.018 < 0.05), while there was no significant difference of student's views toward the position of ethics in business between accounting and economic development students (sig 0.992 > 0.05). Differently, there was a significant difference of student's views toward the position of ethics in business between management and economic development students (sig 0,013 < 0.05). In details, the result of this study also implied that there was no significant difference of student's views toward the position of ethics in business among students of year 2014 and 2016, from all three departments. It implied that the study period did not affect the student's views toward the position of ethics in business.



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