One of our best 2016 MBA theses on mindfulness and moral responsibility

Mindfulness, responsibility, ethical judgement and ethical intent : A virtue ethics perspective

By: Small, Cherise 2017



Proliferation of corporate scandals stands as a stark reminder that leaders can and will behave unethically. Mindfulness and moral responsibility in the context of elements of the ethical decision making process have received limited attention. As such, this study set out to examine and empirically quantify the relationship between moral responsibility, mindfulness and only two of the four constructs of Rests Ethical Decision Making Model (1986), ethical judgement and ethical intent. A broader understanding of mindfulness and moral responsibility may provide organisations with a lever that can be utilised to improve the ethical decisions their leaders make.

A quantitative analysis was conducted in support of this study, using data collected from 191 decision makers within a specific organisation. A questionnaire was used to measure respondents level of ethical judgment, ethical intent, mindfulness and moral responsibility. Statistical techniques which include factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, analysis of variance and paired sample t-test were used to determine whether the responses to each scenario were consistent and whether response bias was evident. And lastly, regression analysis was used to determine the strength of the relationship between the four constructs, and to identify the existence of the mediating influence of moral responsibility between mindfulness and ethical judgment, and mindfulness and ethical intent.

The outcome of this study provided empirical linkages between the constructs of mindfulness, moral responsibility, ethical judgement and ethical intent. The predictive power of the independent variables on the dependent variables were all below 10%, but which were all still statistically significant. Furthermore, moral responsibility mediated the relationships between the variables mindfulness and ethical intent, as well as between the variables mindfulness and ethical judgment.


  • Mindfulness
  • Ethical judgement
  • Ethical intent
  • Moral responsibility
  • Virtue ethics