Author: Yingyot Chiaravutthi

Year: 2019, Volume 29 No. 1
Pages: 58-71


This study tests the effects of an individual’s ethical orientations and the effectiveness of short-term ethics training on prosocial behavior in the prisoner’s dilemma and the dictator economic games. Ethical orientations are classified based on the levels of idealism and relativism that an individual possesses; whereas ethics training is a module that was introduced to bring about awareness of ethical dilemmas in economic games. The experiment, which was conducted with 156 participants from Thailand, resulted in prosocial behavior which contradicts expected economic predictions based on the assumptions of rationality and self-interest. Although an individual’s ethical orientations are not a reliable determinant of ethical behavior, a short-term training module on ethics can be effective in helping to trigger a prosocial outcome. This has important implications as it illustrates the benefits of teaching business ethics through economic games, which can be applied across a wide range of scenarios.

Keywords: ethical orientations, ethics training, Prisoner’s Dilemma game, Dictator game
JEL Classifications: C72, C91, D64, M53