STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS BUSINESS EDUCATION’S ROLE IN ADDRESSING ETHICS AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ISSUES
Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:In recent years, business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become one of the most important issues in business management. In this sense, the training of business students –future entrepreneurs and managers– in these topics is important in order to prepare them to assume responsible roles in society. A relevant question in this area lies in knowing the extent to which students actually believe that business studies should educate about ethical and CSR issues. However, business education literature lacks data on students’ attitudes towards such education. Along this line, the main objective of this paper is to analyse the attitudes of students toward the role of business education in preparing them to make decisions affecting social needs.
Our study is based in a sample of 124 Spanish undergraduate business students at the Jaume I University (Spain). We use the BERSI (Business Education’s Role in addressing Social Issues) scale which incorporates questions dealing with the value of student learning about awareness of and solutions to social problems, civic leadership, discrimination, service, and general CSR issues. Firstly, the findings strongly imply that students at this university are quite positively disposed to the idea that business education should encompass substantial coverage of social issues. Students tended far more to agree than disagree with statements in the BERSI scale. Secondly, we find that there are differences between students’ attitudes toward business education’s role in addressing social issues and what this education really is. Specifically, the values of these students’ attitudes are higher that their perceptions regarding that the business education is. Thirdly, the research results show that there were very few subjects taken during business studies in which students receive training on issues related to ethics and CSR. These results imply the need to incorporate into the business studies more social contents. Furthermore, gender was not found to have a significant effect upon students’ attitudes toward business education’s role in addressing social issues.
Keywords: Social corporate responsibility, ethics, students’ attitudes, business education.