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The Social Desirability Response Bias in Ethics Research

Donna M. Randall and Maria F. Fernandes
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 10, No. 11 (Nov., 1991), pp. 805-817
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072220
Page Count: 13
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The Social Desirability Response Bias in Ethics Research
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Abstract

This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the effects of a socially desirable response bias.

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