Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 179–194 | Cite as

Managers’ Moral Reasoning: Evidence from Large Indian Manufacturing Organisations



Increased globalisation has also seen increased scrutiny of corporate behaviour by the communities. Clearly managers are under increased pressure from stakeholders not only to outperform their competitors, but also are expected to do so in an ethical manner. In order to act ethically an individual is expected to have a well-developed moral imagination and moral reasoning. Literature on ethical reasoning research indicates a positive relationship between higher levels of moral reasoning and ethical behaviour. This paper presents the findings of a study of the moral reasoning/moral development of managers working in large manufacturing enterprises situated in the state of Punjab in India. Kohlberg’s theory of Cognitive Moral Development forms the basis of the study. Moral Judgement Interview (MIG) developed by Weber, on the basis of Kohlberg’s theory was used for the study. Moral Reasoning Scores were calculated using Abbreviated Scoring Guide. More than half of the managers scored at post-conventional level of reasoning while assessing the moral dilemmas. The reasoning scores varied for the three dilemmas.


moral reasoning business ethics cross-cultural ethical decision-making moral judgement cognitive moral development 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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