The Fine Line Between MBA Students and Convicted Felons

Researchers at two Ohio universities concluded in a recent study that MBA students and convicted felons are pretty much alike—at least when it comes to trustworthiness


| September-October 1999


Researchers at two Ohio universities concluded in a recent study that MBA students and convicted felons are pretty much alike—at least when it comes to trustworthiness. As The American Prospect (May/June 1999) notes, James Stearns of Miami University of Ohio and Shaheen Borna of Ball State tested felons and MBA candidates on decision-making ethics in business situations and found prison inmates less likely to steal employees from competitors or scrimp on customer service. MBA seekers were more concerned with stockholders' interests. "Their values are not that much different," said Stearns. "And in some situations, [the inmates'] values are more laudable."