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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-239-9

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2020

Raviteja Kancharla and Anubha Dadhich

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of ethics training (ET) on workplace behaviors. The study also aims to test the mediating effect of ethical culture…

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1227

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of ethics training (ET) on workplace behaviors. The study also aims to test the mediating effect of ethical culture (EC), on the relationship between ET and workplace behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental model has been developed to address the problem statement. The success of ET intervention has been measured in terms of workplace behavior, which is evaluated by job satisfaction, employee commitment and intention to stay. The proposed research model is empirically tested by data collected from 175 mid-level managers in 30 Indian construction firms.

Findings

The results obtained from process macro showed partial mediation. Stronger perceptions of ET were associated with stronger perceptions of EC. EC is related to positive workplace behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The partial mediation suggests that there is a need for exploring other potential mediating variables through which ET interventions can succeed. Future research can investigate group-level variables such as team psychological safety, which can potentially explain the complete mediation.

Practical implications

The results suggest that ET interventions can be used to strengthen the EC in the firms. If the ET intervention is designed purely on the compliance orientation, it will impede the opportunities for long-term development. The focus should not be with the intent to observe ethical conduct. It should be more inclusive and value-oriented. Firms need to sensitize employees and train them on how to deal with ethical dilemmas. Employees are inclined to study in the firms exhibiting a strong EC. In the construction sector, where multiple projects are handled by employees with unique and niche skill sets, retainment of employees is very important. The human resource departments need to think of introducing ET interventions not only from the study of compliance adherence but also with the motive of retaining employees.

Originality/value

The ET literature seldom discussed long term benefits related to creating an EC. The study critiques the intent of human resource (HR) departments while designing an ET intervention. The ethics intervention is often designed with an intent to fulfill the compliance requirements. This study contrasts this intention and shows the importance of ET intervention to create the EC in the firm, which not only includes compliance requirements like code of conduct but also has a significant focus on sensitizing employees about ethical dilemmas and grey areas.

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European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Natalia Ermasova, Stephen Wagner and Lam Dang Nguyen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how individual differences predict personal business ethics of business students with a particular focus on how these factors…

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1048

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how individual differences predict personal business ethics of business students with a particular focus on how these factors moderate the relationship between ethical organizational interventions and personal business ethics perception.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 488 participants completed Clark’s Personal Business Ethics Scores (PBES) survey. ANOVA analyses were then performed.

Findings

Significant correlations were observed between personal business ethics and diversity professional development, age, and education. The authors found significant difference on ethical behavior and diversity professional development. Professional development focusing on diversity was positively related to reports of ethical behavior for women but no significant relationship was observed for men. Furthermore, professional development focusing on ethics was positively related to reports of ethical behavior for younger employees but no significant relationship was observed for older employees.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers and scholars in cross-cultural management and business ethics fields can benefit from this study as it provides more empirical results in understanding the impact of demographic, educational, and cultural factors on the ethical maturity of business students in different countries.

Practical implications

Leaders, managers and practitioners, can benefit from this study as it provides managerial implications in managing this workforce in the most effective and efficient manner. The results from this research suggest that ethics education and diversity training play the critical role in creating an ethical climate on workplace.

Originality/value

This study fills the gap within the literature and offers a unique analysis of the personal business ethics of Russian business students. Determining the types of business ethics education and training that are the most effective in Russia would be beneficial to researchers and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 27 June 2008

John Delaney and Martin J. Coe

It is broadly accepted that ethics should be incorporated into accounting programs. Most CPA firms rely on colleges and universities to teach ethical behavior. Utilizing a…

Abstract

It is broadly accepted that ethics should be incorporated into accounting programs. Most CPA firms rely on colleges and universities to teach ethical behavior. Utilizing a quasi-experimental approach, this chapter examines the effectiveness of ethics instruction delivered via a combination of lecture and active learning methods. Specifically, the impact of ethics instruction on behavior in business settings is investigated. Though similar studies have addressed this issue, this study tests the effectiveness of a particular curriculum in a post-Enron environment. Further, a new instrument to measure moral reasoning ability in work situations is introduced. The study's findings suggest that ethics instruction is effective in increasing moral reasoning ability, particularly in upper-level accounting courses such as accounting information systems and auditing.

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Advances in Accounting Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-519-2

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Kevin C. Wooten

Changes in the traditional values, institutional context, and choice of change programs are currently shaping the postmodern science and practice of organization…

Abstract

Changes in the traditional values, institutional context, and choice of change programs are currently shaping the postmodern science and practice of organization development (OD). These changes manifest themselves in powerful new value orientations, intervention frameworks, and practices that challenge OD's long-held beliefs in ethical and justice-based treatment. In this effort, traditional and new paradigm ethical dilemmas are explored, as well as their relationship to four postmodern practices and five emergent intervention techniques. Components of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice are explained relative to change management programs generally, and to emergent techniques specifically. Published case illustrations are used to depict new paradigm ethical dilemmas and opportunities to create a “just change.”

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-547-1

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

Tero Vartiainen

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of moral conflicts in information systems development by studying student perceptions in an information systems (IS…

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1342

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of moral conflicts in information systems development by studying student perceptions in an information systems (IS) project course implemented in close collaboration with information technology firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an empirical case study. Students' perceptions of moral conflicts were gathered through diaries, drawings, and questionnaires; and the analysis was inspired by phenomenography.

Findings

The analysis reveals six types of moral conflicts. Students face conflicts related to their work tasks and to human and outside parties, and inherent in them is an inclination to moral failure in terms of doing something they perceive to be morally wrong, and also the desire for moral success in resolving the conflicts as well as possible. Students practicing the project manager's job confronted the most difficult moral conflicts.

Practical implications

The just IS student project community is suggested as a way of integrating ethics into IS education, and extending the research on moral conflicts to the business context is recommended.

Originality/value

The paper offers two contributions. First, it develops the research on IS and project‐based learning (PjBL) from a moral perspective and second, it facilitates ethics integration into IS education in the PjBL context.

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Information Technology & People, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Adriaan Taylor

The purpose of this article is to investigate the effectiveness of an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)-aligned business ethics course in relation to its…

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1479

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate the effectiveness of an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)-aligned business ethics course in relation to its ability to positively influence the ethical sensitivity of accounting students.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a quantitative, quasi-experimental design, senior accounting students were subjected to a pre- and post-test, measuring ethical sensitivity, with an IFAC-aligned business ethics course as the intervention. Multivariate analysis also focused on the interrelation of demographic characteristics with ethical sensitivity.

Findings

The results indicate that the business ethics course was indeed effective in increasing the ethical sensitivity of accounting students. Students' demographic characteristics, in terms of accounting specialisation area and years of work experience, did play a role in the extent of their changes in ethical sensitivity. However, gender and previous ethics education as influencing factor in ethical sensitivity was negated.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on the first component (ethical sensitivity) of Rest's four-component model that predicts ethical behaviour. Additional research is therefore needed into the other components in Rest's model and their respective interrelations. The current study also used a small convenience sample rather than one that was randomly selected. The findings in this study do, however, add to the limited body of evidence on ethical sensitivity in accounting education world-wide.

Practical implications

The results can assist accounting professional bodies, associated higher education institutions and accounting firms in implementing specific educational interventions to develop greater ethical sensitivity in prospective and current accountants.

Originality/value

The audit failures at the start of this century placed a renewed focus on the ethical behaviour of accountants. Consequently, ethics training was included in the curriculum of aspiring accountants. The research that informed this article attempted to gauge the effectiveness of this response, given the current knowledge gap, specifically in the South African context. Professional accounting bodies, associated higher education institutions and accounting firms could use the curriculum design presented in this study to implement a similar intervention. Such interventions could enhance the ethical behaviour of both prospective and current accountants, and this, in turn, should aid in lessening ethical crises, thus protecting the social stature of the accounting profession.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Alexandra E. MacDougall, Zhanna Bagdasarov, James F. Johnson and Michael D. Mumford

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless…

Abstract

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless, ethical breaches continue to permeate corporate life, suggesting that there is something missing from how we conceptualize and institutionalize organizational ethics. The current effort seeks to fill this void in two ways. First, we introduce an extended ethical framework premised on sensemaking in organizations. Within this framework, we suggest that multiple individual, organizational, and societal factors may differentially influence the ethical sensemaking process. Second, we contend that human resource management plays a central role in sustaining workplace ethics and explore the strategies through which human resource personnel can work to foster an ethical culture and spearhead ethics initiatives. Future research directions applicable to scholars in both the ethics and human resources domains are provided.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Tara J. Shawver and William F. Miller

This chapter assesses the impact of values change on the likelihood of reporting concerns for a situation of fraudulent financial reporting after a Giving Voice to Values…

Abstract

This chapter assesses the impact of values change on the likelihood of reporting concerns for a situation of fraudulent financial reporting after a Giving Voice to Values (GVV) ethics intervention. The GVV curriculum shifts focus away from why actions are unethical to how one may effectively voice their values to resolve ethical conflict. After implementing this program in advanced accounting courses and empirically assessing the impact of the ethics intervention, the authors find that students have a stronger sense of the importance of values prescribed in professional codes of conduct and are more likely to speak up and confront unethical actions by voicing their values. GVV has the potential to increase the number of accounting professionals who are willing to speak up and confront unethical practices. The authors’ study appears to be the first to empirically test how a change in the perception of the importance of values impacts the likelihood to report concerns to members of the management hierarchy, filling an important gap in the literature.

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-758-9

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Maisarah Mohamed Saat, Stacey Porter and Gordon Woodbine

The paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of ethics courses provided to Malaysian accounting students and their impact on ethical judgement‐making ability.

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1875

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of ethics courses provided to Malaysian accounting students and their impact on ethical judgement‐making ability.

Design/methodology/approach

Third‐year accounting students from six Malaysian universities participated in a pre‐ and post‐ethics course study. The sample consisted of four universities which provide an ethics course (experiment group) and two universities which do not provide an ethics course (control group). Rest's Defining Issues Test instrument was employed and the p‐score was calculated. Univariate tests were used to compare levels of ethical judgement‐making ability.

Findings

Students who attended an ethics course improved significantly in their ethical judgement‐making ability compared to students who did not attend the course. Male students, non‐Muslim students and students in private universities benefit more from attending an ethics course compared to their female and Muslim students and those students in public universities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate that providing ethics courses reshapes the ethical thinking of future accountants and thus are likely to improve the local ethical climate amongst professionals in the field. Results indicate significant improvements in cognitive moral development, although many students continue to apply conventional (Stage 4) reasoning skills when dealing with issues. The research provides a positive signal to the accounting faculties indicating that their effort in inculcating ethical values is worthwhile and this endeavour has to continue.

Originality/value

This study involves a controlled field study of a unique group of Malaysian accounting students and applies Kohlberg's theory of moral development to demonstrate the effect of an ethics intervention. Particular attention was given to examining conventional (Stage 4) judgment‐making processes and how this appears to be influenced by religious affiliation and university type. This adds value to the ethics literature as there are only a few studies examining the merits of Stage 4 reasoning. Most importantly, it helps to fill a gap in the literature by providing both cross‐sectional and longitudinal data from multiple samples of ethics classes, using both experiment and control groups.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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