Age and Work Experience as Antecedents of Ethical Decision Making of Managers: Nigerian Experience


  • Joy Chimebere Iyiegbuniwe
  • Wilfred C. Iyiegbuniwe


Cognitive moral development theory posits
that an individual’s cognition, emotion and
judgment changes as one move through
stages of moral development. Age and work
experience have been suggested as
determinants of ethical ideology which in turn
influences ethical behavior. This study
examined age and work experience as
antecedents of ethical decision making of
managers. Ethical judgment and ethical
intention were used to measure ethical
decision making. The findings indicate that
older managers are not necessarily more
ethical than younger managers. But the
evidence demonstrated further that more
experienced managers are more ethical than
less experienced managers. It can be
concluded that work experience rather than
mere age is the real antecedent of ethical
behavior. Further analyses showed that this
conclusion may be due to the evidence that
more experienced managers are more idealistic and less relativistic than less
experienced managers.

Author Biographies

Joy Chimebere Iyiegbuniwe

Department of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Wilfred C. Iyiegbuniwe

Department of Finance, University of Lagos, Nigeria