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Title: Students' Opinions and Attitudes to Ethics in the Accounting Profession
Contributor(s): Fisher, Josie A (author); McCormack, Cathryn (author)
Corporate Author: National Institute of Accountants
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: This report presents the key findings from the project "Students' opinions and attitudes to ethics in the accounting profession" supported by a Competitive Research Grant from the National Institute of Accountants, Academic Year 2008. The goal of the research was to identify changes in students' opinions and attitudes about ethics in the accounting profession and ethics more generally as measured at the commencement and end of a trimester-long unit 'Business and Professional Ethics'. This unit was offered by the Graduate School of Business at the University of New England and taught by the principal researcher. Students' opinions and attitudes about ethics were measured using an instrument consisting of ten statements about ethics and five vignettes outlining an ethical issue to which students responded using a 5 point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Students were also able to add comments to any of their responses thus providing a richer source of data. We were interested in two related aspects: Whether students' sensitivity to ethical issues (i.e. their ability to recognise an ethical issue) increased over the trimester and whether students' ability to engage in ethical reasoning was enhanced. It should be noted that it was not the purpose of this study to investigate the impact of studying the unit on students' behaviour in the workplace - a topic well worth pursing in a future research project. The vignettes were designed to measure ethical sensitivity, with students asked how much they agreed with a particular behaviour. Ethical reasoning was largely identified through the comments made for each question.
Publication Type: Report
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 220107 Professional Ethics (incl police and research ethics)
150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
130203 Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930104 Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect)
HERDC Category Description: R1 Report
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