USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Sarah Smith

First Advisor

Dr. Debra T. Sinclair, Ph.D., CMA, AVA Assistant Professor, College of Business


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2014

Publication Date


Date Issued

April 2014


This thesis examines the effectiveness of teaching ethics, especially to accounting and other College of Business majors. It examines what the most effective methods of teaching ethics are, and whether the current methods used by teachers at USF have the intended emphasis on the importance of ethics in business. First, it examines the literature surrounding the topic of ethics education in business, then examines the reasons that ethical behavior is necessary in business, and then it examines the results of an opinion based survey taken by students. The survey results demonstrate that, while students within the College of Business gave the generally same answers to questions on ethics as those outside of it, demonstrating in sections 2 and 3 of the survey either equal or greater ethical beliefs than those outside of the college of business, though only 61.9% remembered having a class where ethics was a major topic. As students who had ethics as a major topic were significantly more confident that they had received sufficient ethics education to assist them in the future, more focus on ethics during their education may serve to help instill business students with greater confidence in their ability to withstand workforce pressures, which is especially important due to the relatively low ranking given to business majors by both students within the college of business and students outside of the college of business.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.