All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program

Business Administration


Business Administration


cognitive, ethics, moral, relativism


The intent of this thesis is to explore the effects of cultural changes on ethical decision making in business.

To lay the groundwork, Part I will be a review of the basic techniques of moral reasoning with emphasis on the relationship between the historical techniques - consequentialism and nonconsequentialism - and the new relativistic worldview.

Part II is a look at business ethics beginning with the Middle Ages and the Reformation. The Protestant Ethic is contrasted with the new ethic which prevails in the marktetplace. Part II ends with a brief review of the history of philosophy to illustrate how the reliance on rationalism has led to many of the problems evident in our culture.

In Part III, after a summary of ethics programs and a look at a current model of ethical decision making in business, the theory of Cognitive Moral Development will be covered in detail. The emphasis on Cognitive Moral Development is based on the assumption that decisions made at the principled level of moral development are better than those which are made on the basis of utilitarianism.

This thesis ends in Part IV with a summary and then some speculation about the legitimacy of business in our culture.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis


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In Copyright