The Unethical Decision Making Scale

The Scale

From Detert, Trevino, & Sweitzer (2008) JAP :

The Unethical Decision Making Scale

Study respondents were asked “How likely is it that you would engage in the behavior described?” Each of the following scenarios was rated on a 7-point scale ranging from 0 (not at all likely) to 6 (highly likely). Cronbach’s alpha for the eight-item scale  .74.

1. You work in a fast-food restaurant in downtown [City X]. It’s against policy to eat food without paying for it. You came straight from classes and are therefore hungry. Your supervisor isn’t around, so you make something for yourself and eat it without paying.

2. You work as an office assistant for a department at [University Y]. You’re alone in the office making copies and realize you’re out of copy paper at home. You therefore slip a ream of paper into your backpack.

3. You’re preparing for the final exam in a class where the professor uses the same exam in both sections. Some of your friends somehow get a copy of the exam after the first section. They are now trying to memorize the right answers. You don’t look at the exam, but just ask them what topics you should focus your studying on.

4. You’ve waited in line for 10 minutes to buy a coffee and muffin at Starbucks. When you’re a couple of blocks away, you realize that the clerk gave you change for $20 rather than for the $10 you gave him. You savor your coffee, muffin and free $10.

5. You get the final exam back from your professor and you notice that he’s marked correct three answers that you got wrong. Revealing his error would mean the difference between an A and a B. You say nothing.

6. Your accounting course requires you to purchase a software package that sells for $50. Your friend, who is also in the class, has already bought the software and offers to lend it to you. You take it and load it onto your computer.

7. Your boss at your summer job asks you to get confidential information about a competitor’s product. You therefore pose as a student doing a research project on the competitor’s company and ask for the information.

8. You are assigned a team project in one of your courses. Your team waits until the last minute to begin working. Several team members suggest using an old project out of their fraternity/ sorority files. You go along with this plan.

SPSS Syntax

assuming variables E1 to E8

compute ethics=mean(e1 to e8).

E1 "Ethics1 - eat food without paying for it"
E2 "Ethics2 - taking home office paper"
E3 "Ethics3 - cheat on exam preparation"
E4 "Ethics4 - return change not yours"
E5 "Ethics5 - revealing professor error"
E6 "Ethics6 - copying software"
E7 "Ethics7 - spying at competitors for company boss"
E8 "Ethics8 - succuming to unethical group pressure"
ethics "Ethicality".
unethical_decision_making_scale.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/25 22:53 by filination
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