Publication Date


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Natalia Ermasova

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Gaffney

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Bruce


The public sector in Illinois has long been under scrutiny of corruption and ethical misconducts. Therefore, understanding the ethical perceptions of public and private sector employees and the factors that influence them, as well as their ability to exert leadership in society. There has been increased research on business ethics over the years. Ethical issues such as conflict of interest, account and consumer fraud, and bribery have become more complex and culturally diverse (Nguyen, Tran, Mujtaba, & Tran, 2014). The purpose of this study is to investigate how age, gender, nationality, workplace Code of Ethics, business ethics training, longevity with current employer, and government work experience influence personal business perceptions of American working adults and students. Using Comparison t-test and ANOVA analyses, this research analyzes 132 public and private sector employees and students at Governors State University. Significant correlations were not observed between personal business perceptions and gender, age, nationality, education, business ethics training, management and government experience. This study found significant differences in the mean Personal Business Ethics Scores (PBES) scores and Code of Ethics in the workplace. The results from this research suggest that business ethics codes and diversity trainings play a role in creating an ethical workplace climate. This study offers a unique analysis of the personal business ethics perceptions of students at Governors State University and working adults in public and private sectors.