Perceived Conduct and Professional Ethics among College Economics Faculty

By Laband, David N.; Piette, Michael J. | American Economist, Spring 2000 | Go to article overview

Perceived Conduct and Professional Ethics among College Economics Faculty


Laband, David N., Piette, Michael J., American Economist


Michael J. Piette [*]

Abstract

We present survey results that shed light on the perceived frequency and severity of 61 professional practices. Our findings, based on questionnaires completed by 728 academic economists in the United States, suggest that most of the practices that might be considered ethically suspect also are perceived to occur relatively infrequently. The mean values for the responses to our survey are significantly lower, in absolute terms, than those recorded by Mason et al. (1990), who conducted an almost identical survey in 1987 of marketing academicians. However, in relative terms the perceived severity of these practices is highly consistent between economics faculty and marketing faculty.

ethical: "being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession."--The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, (2nd ed., unabridged, 1987)

I. INTRODUCTION

Many economics departments in the United States offer a baccalaureate degree through a college (or school) of business. The various degree programs, including economics, offered in the context of a business school are regarded as 'professional' degree programs. As such, the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) requires accredited business schools to provide for instruction of ethics, in a variety of guises, to undergraduate business majors. Despite this clear concern by the AACSB about student exposure to ethics, most of the national associations of which business and economics faculty are members do not have codes or statements of ethical professional conduct, either inside or outside of the classroom. This includes the American Economic Association and all of the major regional associations.

Surely the lack of any formal statement or code of professional ethics does not reflect a lack of shared concern about certain professional practices. We suspect that there are a number of practices about which members of the economics profession, and others, would express concern. Yet aside from anecdotes, we know little about: (1) the types of professional practices members of the economics profession perceive as problematic, and (2) the perceived frequency of occurrence of various professional practices. Indeed, with the exception of papers by Fox, Sattler, Piette, and Johnson in a special symposium on ethics in forensic economics published in the Journal of Forensic Economics (1991), and by Meier (1986) and Fisher (1986) also on ethical behavior by economists in a forensic testimony context, the professional literature in economics is barren with respect to the professional behavior of economists.

Following the methodology established by Mason et al. (1990), we present survey results that shed light on the perceived frequency and severity of 61 professional practices. Our findings, based on questionnaire responses by 728 economists in U.S. colleges and universities, are consistent in many respects with those of Mason et al., and provide a useful benchmark for measuring changes in attitudes and perceptions about a wide array of professional practices.

II. METHOD

Sample

Our survey instrument was sent to 3,000 randomly-selected members of the American Economic Association in 1993, who held academic positions. We identified these individuals by selecting every 5th name in the 1993 AEA Directory; if that individual did not list an affiliation with a U.S. college or university, we went to the next name as necessary until we found an individual who met these criteria. The mailing included an introductory letter that read:

Dear Professor _______:

Dr. Michael J. Piette and I are conducting an intensive survey of the academic membership of the American Economic Association, as a critical first step in a scientific assessment of ethical behavior among academic economists. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers to the questions on the enclosed questionnaire. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Perceived Conduct and Professional Ethics among College Economics Faculty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.