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ERIC Number: EJ1107502
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0963-9284
Improving Ethical Attitudes or Simply Teaching Ethical Codes? The Reality of Accounting Ethics Education
Cameron, Robyn Ann; O'Leary, Conor
Accounting Education, v24 n4 p275-290 2015
Ethical instruction is critical in accounting education. However, does accounting ethics teaching actually instil core ethical values or simply catalogue how students should act when confronted with typical accounting ethical dilemmas? This study extends current literature by distinguishing between moral/ethical and legal/ethical matters and then re-evaluating the effectiveness of ethics training. A cohort of final-year accounting students with significant ethical training evaluated ethical scenarios. Half were moral (non-legal) and half contained legal as well as moral components. After further ethical instruction they re-evaluated the scenarios. Ethical attitudes towards legal/moral issues improved, but attitudes towards moral-only issues did not. This questions previous studies which purport to demonstrate the effectiveness of ethical instruction and queries the benefits of accounting ethics education. Are fundamental ethical principles being ignored in an effort to prevent more obvious accounting wrongdoings? Accounting ethics training needs to be reassessed if true ethical improvement is to be achieved.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A