Utilisation of Vignettes Instructional Method and Ethical Sensitivity in Decision-Making among Business Studies Teacher Trainees at the University of Nairobi, Kenya

  • Mary Prisca Oluoch Department of Educational Communication & Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Paul Amollo Odundo Department of Educational Communication & Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • John Kamau Mwangi Department of Educational Communication & Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Vignettes, Instructional Method, Ethical Sensitivity, Decision-Making, Experiential Learning, Vignettes’ Utilisation


Vignettes have been applied in many academic disciplines over time, as an essential element of experiential learning. At the Department of Educational Communication and Technology, adoption of vignettes instructional method by instructors remains slow, while application by early adopters remains inconsistent. Despite this, little is known about how utilisation of vignettes to teach business ethics at the Department influences teacher trainees’ ethical sensitivity in decision-making. The cross-sectional survey design guided the research process, and primary data were sourced in 2018 from 116 learners. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques were applied. Key results show that trainees who strongly agreed that utilisation of vignettes influenced their ethical sensitivity in decision-making had about 2 times the odds of being ethically sensitive in their decisions as their colleagues who expressed strong disagreement about the same. Besides, those who agreed that utilisation of vignettes influenced their ethical sensitivity in decision-making were about 1.9 times as likely to make ethically sensitive decisions as those who indicated strong disagreement. On aggregate, utilisation of vignettes caused a positive and significant influence on trainees’ ethical sensitivity in decision-making. It also emerged third in the order of relative importance. Notably, the more the trainees appreciated that utilisation of vignettes influenced their ethical sensitivity in decision-making, the higher odds of making ethically sensitive decisions. Thus, improving trainees’ knowledge on the various parameters of vignettes’ utilisation is likely to enhance their ethical sensitivity in decision-making. This may be achieved by dedicating a section of training modules on optimisation of vignette utilisation.


Abubakar, N.B., Ismail, S. & Mamat, S. (2008). ‘Ethics of Future Accounting Professionals: Evidence from Malaysia.’ Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, 6(1), 21-33.

Adkins, C. & Simmons, B. (2004). ‘Outdoor, Experiential, and Environmental Education: Converging or Diverging Approaches?’ ERIC Digest. Available at https://www.ericdigests.org/2003-2/outdoor.html

Aflalo, E. & Gabay, E. (2013). ‘Learning Approach and Learning: Exploring a New Technological Learning System.’ International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 7(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2013.070114

Aliyu, A.A., Bello, M.U., Kasim, R., & Martin, D. (2014). ‘Positivist and Non-Positivist Paradigm in Social Science Research: Conflicting Paradigms or Perfect Partners?’ Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(3), 79-95, http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jms.v4n3p79

Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., & Major, C.H. (2014). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Bentley, T. (2012). Learning beyond the Classroom: Education for a Changing World. New York: Routledge

Berger, D. (2017). Introduction to Binary Logistic Regression and Propensity Score Analysis: Categorical Data Analysis Packet CD06.

Bradbury-Jones, C., Taylor, J. & Herber, O.R. (2014). ‘Vignette Development and Administration: A Framework for Protecting Research Participants.’ International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 17(2), 427-440.

Brookhart, S.M. (2005). ‘Teaching About Communicating Assessment Results and Grading.’ Educational Measurement Issues and Practice, 18(1):5-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3992.1999.tb00002.x

Cochran, W. G. (1977). Sampling Techniques (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Dench. S., Iphofen, R. & Huws, U. (2004). An EU Code of Ethics for Socio-Economic Research Report. London: Institute for Employment Studies.

Effelsberg, D., Solga, M. & Gurt, J. (2014). ‘Transformational Leadership and Follower’s Unethical Behavior for the Benefit of the Company: A Two-Study Investigation’. Journal of Business Ethics, 120(1), 81-93.

Emanuel, V. & Cross, V. (2012). ‘Using Vignettes to Teach Stroke Care.’ Nursing Times, 108(9), 20-22.

Emerson, E., Walsh, P.N., Lobb, C., Hatton, C., Bradley, V., Schalock, R.L. & Moseley, C. (2010). ‘Supported Accommodation for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Quality of Life: An Overview.’ Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 7(2), 137-142.

Erfanian, F., Roudsari, R., Haidari, A., Bahmani, M. (2020). ‘A Narrative on Using Vignettes: Its Advantages and Drawbacks.’ Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, 8(2): 2134-2145. https://doi.org/10.22038/jmrh.2020.41650.1472

Felton, E.L. & Sims, R.R. (2005). ‘Teaching Business Ethics: Targeted Outputs.’ Journal of Business Ethics, 60, 377-391.

Harland, T. (2014). ‘Learning About Case Study Methodology to Research Higher Education.’ Higher Education Research and Development, 33(6), 1113-1122.

Ismail, S. & Ghazali, N.A.M. (2011). ‘Ethical Ideology and Ethical Judgments of Accounting Practitioners in Malaysia.’ Gadjah Mada International Journal of Business, 13(2), pp. 107-123.

Jeffries, C. & Maeder, D.W. (2006). ‘Using Instructional and Assessment Vignettes to Promote Recall, Recognition, and Transfer in Educational Psychology Courses.’ Teaching Educational Psychology, Vol. 1:2, 1-19.

Kidwell, R.E. & Valentine, S.R. (2009). ‘Positive Group Context, Work Attitudes and Organizational Misbehavior: The Case of Withholding Job Effort.’ Journal of Business Ethics, 86(1), 15-28.

Kolb, A.Y. & Kolb, D.A. (2017). ‘Experiential Learning Theory as a Guide for Experiential Educators in Higher Education.’ ELTHE: A Journal for Engaged Educators, 1(1), pp. 7-44.

Krambia-Kapardis, M. & Zopiatis, A. (2011). ‘Personal Values of Accountants and Accounting Trainees in Cyprus.’ Business Ethics: A European Review, 20(1), 59-70.

Lee, V. (2012). ‘What is Inquiry-Guided Learning?’ New Directions for Learning, 129:5-14.

Lepper, T.S. (1996). ‘Ethical Sensitivity, Cognitive Mapping, and Organizational Communication: A Different Approach to Studying Ethics in Organizations.’ The Electronic Journal of Communication, 6(4), 1-26.

Ling, T.J., Hauck, J.M., Doyle, C.J., Percario, K.N. & Henawi, T. (2019). ‘Evaluating the Use of Ethical Decision-Making Models for Art Therapy.’ Journal of American ART Therapy Association, 36(2), 93-97. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2019.1609330

Manolis, C., Burns, D.J., Assudani, R. & Chinta, R. (2012). ‘Assessing Experiential Learning Styles: A Methodological Reconstruction and Validation of the Kolb Learning Style Inventory.’ Learning and Individual Differences, 23, 44-52.

Mateer, G.D., Ghent, L.S., Porter, T. & Purdom, R. (2013). Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning. Pedagogy in Action. Available at https://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/media/why.html

Mazanec, J.A. (2005). ‘New Methodology for Analysing Competitive Positions: A Demonstration Study of Travellers’ Attitude toward their Modes of Transport.’ Tourism Analysis 9(1), 1-10.

McAllister, M. & McKinnon, J. (2008). ‘The Importance of Teaching and Learning Resilience in the Health Disciplines: A Critical Review of the Literature.’ Nurse Education Today, 29, 371-379. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2008.10.011

McLeod, S.A. (2017). Kolb-Learning Styles. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html

Muñiz-Rodríguez, L., Alonso, P., Rodríguez-Muñiz, L.J., De Coninck, K., Vanderlinde, R. & Valcke, M. (2018). ‘Exploring the Effectiveness of Video-Vignettes to Develop Mathematics Student Teachers Feedback Competence.’ EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 14(11), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/92022

Myers, J.L. & Well, A.D. (2003). Research Design and Statistical Analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

O’Connor, H. & Gibson, N. (2003). ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Qualitative Data Analysis.’ Pimatiziwin: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health, 1(1), 64-90.

Odundo, A.P. & Gunga, S.O. (2013). ‘The Effects of Application on Institutional Methods on Learner Achievement in Business in Secondary Schools in Kenya.’ International Journal of Education and Research, 1(5), 1-22.

Oluoch P.M., Odundo, P.A., Mwangi, J., & Oyier, C.R. (2018). ‘Effects of Vignettes Types in Enhancing Ethical Decision among Business Education Students.’ International Journal of Business and Management, 13(10), 249-. DOI:10.5539/ijbm.v13n10p249

Oluoch, P.M. & Odundo, P.A. (2018). ‘Influence of Vignettes Constructions on Ethical Decision among Business studies Students.’ World Journal of Educational Research, 5(2), 204-218. https://doi.org/10.22158/wjer.v5n2p204

Omwenga, E.I. (2006). Pedagogical Issues and e-Learning Cases: Integrating ICTs into Teaching and Learning Process. Nairobi: School of Computing and Informatics.

Pan, Y. & Sparks, J.R. (2012). ‘Predictors, Consequence, and Measurement of Ethical Judgments: Review and Meta-analysis.’ Journal of Business Research, 65(1), 84-91.

Petrina, S. (2004). Curriculum and Instruction for Technology Teachers. Retrieved on 22/4/2020 from https://www.semanticscholar.org

Polit, D.F. & Beck, C.T. (2006). ‘The Content Validity Index: Are You Sure You Know What's Being Reported? Critique and Recommendations.’ Research in Nursing & Health, 29(5), 489-497.

Primecz, H. (2020). ‘Positivist, Constructivist and Critical Approaches to International Human Resource Management and Some Future Directions.’ German Journal of Human Resource Management. 34 (2), 124-147, https://doi.org/10.1177/2397002220909069

Ramburuth, P. & Daniel, S. (2011). ‘Integrating Experiential Learning and Cases in International Business.’ Journal of Teaching in International Business, 22(1), 38-50, https://doi.org/10.1080/08975930.2011.585917

Rest, J. (1983). Moral Development: Advances in Research and Theory. New York: Praeger.

Rest, J.R. & Narvaez, D. (Eds.). (1994). Moral Development in the Professions: Psychology and Applied Ethics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rindfleisch, A., Malter, A.J., Ganesan, S. & Moorman, C. (2008). ‘Cross-sectional Versus Longitudinal Survey Research.’ Journal of Marketing Research, 45(3), 1-23.

Sampson, H. & Johannessen, I.A. (2020). ‘Turning on the Tap: The Benefits of Using ‘Real Life’ Vignettes in Qualitative Research Interviews.’ Qualitative Research, 20(1), 56-72. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794118816618

Setia, M.S. (2016). ‘Methodology Series Module 3: Cross-Sectional Studies.’ Indian Journal of Dermatology, 61, 261-264, http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.182410

Sims, J.M. (2010). ‘A Brief Review of the Belmont Report.’ Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 29(4), 173-174.

Suresh, S. (2011). ‘Ethical Issues in Human Resource Management.’ Management and Labor Studies, 36(4), 367-370.

University of Nairobi (2017). Latest News. Available at http://www.uonbi.ac.ke

University of Nairobi (2018). Annual Report 2018. Available at http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/106525

Van den Berge, G. & Dichaba, M.M. (2013). ‘Real-Life Experiences during Teaching and Learning: Three South African Teachers’ Narratives.’ Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p471

Weaver, K.D, Morse, J.M. & Mitcham, C. (2008). ‘Ethical Sensitivity in Professional Practice: Concept Analysis.’ Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(5), 607-618, 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04625.x

Wong, P.W. (2014). ‘A Snapshot on Qualitative Research Methods.’ Educational Research and Reviews, 9(5), 130-140.

Wuensch, K.L. (2006). Logistic Regression with SPSS. Retrieved on 11/09/2018 from http://core.ecu.edu/psyc/wuenschk/spss/logistic.sav

You, D. & Bebeau, M.J. (2013). ‘The Independence of James Rest's Components of Morality: Evidence from A Professional Ethics Curriculum Study.’ Ethics and Education, 1-17, https://doi.org/10.1080/17449642.2013.846059

How to Cite
Oluoch, M. P., Odundo, P. A., & Mwangi, J. K. (2021). Utilisation of Vignettes Instructional Method and Ethical Sensitivity in Decision-Making among Business Studies Teacher Trainees at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Journal La Edusci, 2(2), 19-43. https://doi.org/10.37899/journallaedusci.v2i2.349