HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Frank Cavico

Committee Member

Pedro F Pellet

Committee Member

Bruce Moeller


Utilizing Lawrence Kohlberg's cognitive moral development theory as the guiding theory, the research undertaken sought to explore the moral decision-making process of emergency planners in the state of Florida. To assess the quantitative measurement for moral judgment, the research applied and used the Defining Issues Test (DIT) developed by James Rest (1979).

The research examined the relationship between education, gender, age, and ethics training against the moral maturity of Florida emergency planners. With ethical maturity level as the dependent variable, analysis showed a significant difference between males and females, where females had higher postconventional scores than males regardless of educational levels. Also interesting was that postconventional scores for males rose as educational levels rose. However, there was no significant difference revealed between postconventional scores when age and ethics training were the independent variables. The results of this research may have significant implications for organizations before, during, and after a disaster. While empirical research has shown that higher education is positively associated with higher levels of cognitive moral development, the research has shown that it may only apply to males.

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