Enhancing undergraduate awareness of professional conduct in the workplace through work-integrated learning
Journal of Business Ethics Education
School of Business and Law / Centre for Innovative Practice
Higher education is considered responsible for developing undergraduate awareness of the importance and meaning of professional conduct among students, along with other non-technical skills. Understanding what constitutes ethical practice and industry expectations of performance standards is critical in helping new graduates prepare for their transition to the workplace. This study explores the influence of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) on developing undergraduate awareness of the code of conduct pertaining to their chosen profession. Data is gathered from 91 Australian Business undergraduates who completed a work placement as part of their degree program. Findings indicate that WIL enhances undergraduate awareness of professional conduct in a number of ways and highlight the important role of WIL in providing a rich insight into the realities of professional conduct in the world-of-work. Harnessing the potential for WIL to develop critical practitioners who may challenge, rather than simply accept, the professional code is discussed.