Sex & gender in ethical decision making: A critical review and recommendations for future research

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jason R. Pierce, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Though researchers have attempted to understand how biological sex impacts ethical decision making for over thirty years, their efforts have yielded few notable theories and key empirical findings. These less than impressive outcomes can be attributed to many atheoretical attempts through what amounts to no more than vote counting (i.e., who commits more (un)ethical acts, men or women). In an effort to inspire more profoundly scientific investigation of the role of sex in ethical decision making, I set out to review the most grounded theoretical frameworks addressing it, to highlight their key commonalities, differences, and limitations, and to propose directions for future researchers to consider. This effort resulted in identification of three primary theories—moral reasoning/orientation, self-stereotyping, and pragmatism—and two related ones on which future research should be based: gender-identity and neuroscience. The gender identity and neuroscience literatures offer tremendous potential for explaining and predicting sex differences in ethical decision making. Better theories, hopefully, will lead to the development and delivery of more effective interventions to diminish the tremendous costs we all experience for unethical behavior in our societies.

Additional Information

Academy of Management Proceedings. 2014(1), 997-982
Language: English
Date: 2014
Decision Making, Ethics, Gender

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