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  1. Roberta Bampton & Christopher J. Cowton (2013). Taking Stock of Accounting Ethics Scholarship: A Review of the Journal Literature. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 114 (3):549-563.
    The proportion of business ethics literature devoted to accounting and the proportion of academic accounting literature devoted to ethical issues are both small, yet over the past two decades there has been a steady accumulation of research devoted to ethical issues in accounting. Based on a database of more than 500 articles gathered from a wide range of accounting and business ethics academic journals, this paper describes and analyses the characteristics of what has been published in the past 20 years (...)
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  2. Curtis Clements, John D. Neill & O. Scott Stovall (2009). The Impact of Cultural Differences on the Convergence of International Accounting Codes of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (3):383 - 391.
    The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has issued a revised “Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants” (IFAC Code). The IFAC Code is intended to be a model code of ethics for national accounting organizations throughout the world. Prior research demonstrates that approximately 50% of IFAC member organizations have adopted the IFAC Code as their organizational code of conduct. There is therefore empirical evidence that international convergence of accounting ethical standards is occurring. We employ Hofstede’s ( 2008 , http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php ) cultural (...)
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  3. David T. Dearman & James E. Beard (2009). Ethical Issues in Accounting and Economics Experimental Research: Inducing Strategic Misrepresentation. Ethics and Behavior 19 (1):51 – 59.
    Numerous accounting and economics research studies employ an experimental research method requiring student participants to make representations about an individual characteristic (e.g., ability, cost) that provides a basis for payment of cash rewards. In response, many participants intentionally misrepresent the nature of that characteristic to receive a greater reward. Typically, such studies are deemed to be either exempt from review by institutional review boards (IRBs) or subject only to an expedited review. Moreover, investigators seldom debrief participants, purportedly to avoid contamination (...)
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  4. Wilfred Dolfsma (2006). Accounting as Applied Ethics: Teaching a Discipline. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 63 (3):209 - 215.
    In this article it is argued that there are notable parallels between all of the different strands within ethics on the one hand, and accountancy on the other that, in teaching, can be drawn upon to enhance students’ understanding of the latter. Accountancy, part of economics, draws on utilitarian ethics, but not solely so. Accounting, in addition, draws on deontological and communitarian strands in ethics. The article suggests that the teaching of accounting – especially to non-economists – would benefit substantially (...)
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  5. Patricia Casey Douglas, Ronald A. Davidson & Bill N. Schwartz (2001). The Effect of Organizational Culture and Ethical Orientation on Accountants' Ethical Judgments. Journal of Business Ethics 34 (2):101 - 121.
    This paper examines the relationship between organizational ethical culture in two large international CPA firms, auditors'' personal values and the ethical orientation that those values dictate, and judgments in ethical dilemmas typical of those that accountants face. Using an experimental task consisting of multiple judgments designed to vary in "moral intensity" (Jones, 1991), and unique as well as tried-and-true approaches to variable measurements, this study examined the judgments of more than three hundred participants in our study. ANCOVA and path analysis (...)
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  6. John Ferguson, David Collison, David Power & Lorna Stevenson (2011). Accounting Education, Socialisation and the Ethics of Business. Business Ethics 20 (1):12-29.
    This study provides empirical evidence in relation to a growing body of literature concerned with the ‘socialisation’ effects of accounting and business education. A prevalent criticism within this literature is that accounting and business education in the United Kingdom and the United States, by assuming a ‘value-neutral’ appearance, ignores the implicit ethical and moral assumptions by which it is underpinned. In particular, it has been noted that accounting and business education tends to prioritise the interests of shareholders above all other (...)
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  7. Maria Krambia-Kapardis & Anastasios Zopiatis (2011). Personal Values of Accountants and Accounting Trainees in Cyprus. Business Ethics 20 (1):59-70.
    Accountants are neither devoid of ethical dilemmas nor are they immune from financial scandals. In order to improve the credibility of the profession, it is important to study the personal values that qualified and trainee accountants consider important. Using Maccoby's instrument, which measures ‘head’ and ‘heart’ values, qualified accountants (chartered and certified) and trainee accountants were surveyed for the first time in a European Union member country (Cyprus) to ascertain their character ethical traits/personal values. Accountants were found to value ‘head’ (...)
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  8. Réal Labelle, Rim Makni Gargouri & Claude Francoeur (2010). Ethics, Diversity Management, and Financial Reporting Quality. Journal of Business Ethics 93 (2):335 - 355.
    This article proposes and empirically tests a theoretical framework incorporating Reidenbach and Robin’s (J Bus Ethics 10(4):273–284, 1991 ) conceptual model of corporate moral development. The framework is used to examine the relation between governance and business ethics, as proxied by diversity management (DM), and financial reporting quality, as proxied by the magnitude of earnings management (EM). The level of DM and governance quality are measured in accordance with the ratings of Jantzi Research (JR), a leading provider of social and (...)
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  9. George Lan, Chike Okechuku, He Zhang & Jianan Cao (2013). Impact of Job Satisfaction and Personal Values on the Work Orientation of Chinese Accounting Practitioners. Journal of Business Ethics 112 (4):627-640.
    This study investigates the impact of job satisfaction and personal values on the work orientation of accounting practitioners in China. Satisfaction with work varies across individuals and how individuals view work (i.e., work orientation) may depend not only on satisfaction with various facets of their work but also on their beliefs and values. We used the questionnaire from Wrzesniewski et al. (J Res Pers 31, 21–33, 1997) to measure work orientation. Job satisfaction was measured by the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) (...)
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  10. Lisa Papania, Daniel M. Shapiro & John Peloza (2008). Social Impact as a Measure of Fit Between Firm Activities and Stakeholder Expectations. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 4 (1):3-16.
    Institutional investors are increasingly focusing on firms that prioritise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In the absence of any objective measure of a firm's CSR Performance (CSP), their investment choices are largely guided by independent rating indices that rank firms according to their social performance metrics. As a result, firms looking to increase their attractiveness as targets of social investment focus their CSR efforts on increasing the visibility of activities that are recognised by such indices. However, the validity of these indices (...)
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  11. Albert D. Spalding & Alfonso Oddo (2011). It's Time for Principles-Based Accounting Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 99 (S1):49-59.
    The American Institute of certified public accountants (AICPA) has promulgated a Code of Professional Conduct , which has served as the primary ethical standard for public accountants in the United States for more than 20 years. It is now out of date and needs to be replaced with a code of ethics. Just as U.S. generally accepted accounting principles are being migrated toward “principles-based accounting” as part of a convergence with international financial reporting standards, a similar process needs to occur (...)
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  12. George J. Staubus (2005). Ethics Failures in Corporate Financial Reporting. Journal of Business Ethics 57 (1):5 - 15.
    Fraudulent financial reporting, financial statements with errors so material as to require restatement, and biased reporting marred by defects such as managed earnings have plagued financial reporting in many countries in recent years. All of those failures are ethics failures that represent breaches of fiduciary duties by individuals who accepted responsibilities but did not fulfill them. The financial reporting system practiced in America is viewed by the parties involved in it as generally satisfactory. However, according to another view, the interests (...)
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  13. Joan Van Hise & Dawn W. Massey (2010). Applying the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm to the Creation of an Accounting Ethics Course. Journal of Business Ethics 96 (3):453-465.
    This article explains how and why the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP), a 450-year-old approach to education, can serve as a framework for a modern principles-based ethics course in accounting. The IPP takes a holistic view of the world, combining five elements: context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation. We describe the components of the IPP and discuss how they align with suggestions from prior research for providing principles-based ethics instruction in accounting. We conclude by describing how we used the IPP as (...)
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  14. Hui-Ling Yang & Wei-Pang Wu (2009). The Effect of Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision Making in Accounting. Journal of Moral Education 38 (3):335-351.
    The purpose of this study was to examine the dimensionality of a moral intensity construct in four ethical accounting scenarios and how the dimensions directly affect the specific processes of moral decision making of accounting students. A survey was conducted with 233 accounting students enrolled in the school of accounting in a university of mainland China. Results indicated that the dimensions of moral intensity were significantly related to moral recognition, moral judgement and moral intention in relation to moral issues. The (...)
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Ethical Audits
  1. Marc J. Epstein, Ruth Ann McEwen & Roxanne M. Spindle (1994). Shareholder Preferences Concerning Corporate Ethical Performance. Journal of Business Ethics 13 (6):447 - 453.
    This study surveyed investors to determine the extent to which they preferred ethical behavior to profits and their interest in having information about corporate ethical behavior reported in the corporate annual report. First, investors were asked to determine what penalties should be assessed against employees who engage in profitable, but unethical, behavior. Second, investors were asked about their interest in using the annual report to disclose the ethical performance of the corporation and company officials. Finally, investors were asked if they (...)
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Social and Environmental Reporting
  1. Björn Fasterling (2012). Development of Norms Through Compliance Disclosure. Journal of Business Ethics 106 (1):73-87.
    This article introduces compliance disclosure regimes to business ethics research. Compliance disclosure is a relatively recent regulatory technique whereby companies are obliged to disclose the extent to which they comply with codes, ‘best practice standards’ or other extra-legal texts containing norms or prospective norms. Such ‘compliance disclosure’ obligations are often presented as flexible regulatory alternatives to substantive, command-and-control regulation. However, based on a report on experiences of existing compliance disclosure obligations, this article will identify major weaknesses that prevent them from (...)
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  2. Lori Holder-Webb, Jeffrey Cohen, Leda Nath & David Wood (2008). A Survey of Governance Disclosures Among U.S. Firms. Journal of Business Ethics 83 (3):543 - 563.
    Recent years have featured a spate of regulatory action pertaining to the development and/or disclosure of corporate governance structures in response to financial scandals resulting in part from governance failures. During the same period, corporate governance activists and institutional investors increasingly have called for increased voluntary governance disclosure. Despite this attention, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of governance disclosure practices and response to the regulation. In this study, we examine a sample of 50 U.S. firms and their public (...)
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  3. Giacomo Manetti & Simone Toccafondi (2012). The Role of Stakeholders in Sustainability Reporting Assurance. Journal of Business Ethics 107 (3):363-377.
    The main purpose of this exploratory analysis is to understand whether, based on evidence gathered from international best practices selected among corporations which adopt the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines in sustainability reporting (SR), stakeholders are significantly consulted and involved—as international literature would indicate—by assurance providers, during assurance processes of SR. We aim at verifying if this practice—known as stakeholder assurance—is in fact widespread in SR assurance by carrying out empirical research, through content analysis, into a sample of 161 assurance statements (...)
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  4. David Nitkin & Leonard J. Brooks (1998). Sustainability Auditing and Reporting: The Canadian Experience. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 17 (13):1499-1507.
    This paper reviews the experience of 174 of Canada's largest 1500 public and private sector corporations which have begun to incorporate sustainable development management and reporting as part of their operations. Answers are provided to three main questions: Why have they implemented this initiative? What progress has been made in terms of sustainability audit practice – frequency, focus, organization of the audit team –, internal communication, and external reporting? And where has, and will the leadership for the sustainability audit movement (...)
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  5. Hai Yap Teoh & Godwin Y. Shiu (1990). Attitudes Towards Corporate Social Responsibility and Perceived Importance of Social Responsibility Information Characteristics in a Decision Context. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (1):71 - 77.
    This study addressed the questions of perceived importance of social responsibility information (SRI) characteristics in a decision context, as well as the attitudes of institutional investors toward social responsibility involvement. The results showed that SRI presently disclosed in company annual reports did not have any significant impact on institutional investors' decisions. However, if SRI were presented in quantified, financial form, and were focused on product improvement and fair business practices, such information would be perceived as more important for investment decisions. (...)
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Accounting Ethics, Misc
  1. Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi & C. Richard Baker (2006). Accountants' Value Preferences and Moral Reasoning. Journal of Business Ethics 69 (1):11 - 25.
    This paper examines relationships between accountants’ personal values and their moral reasoning. In particular, we hypothesize that there is an inverse relationship between accountants’ “Conformity” values and principled moral reasoning. This investigation is important because the literature suggests that conformity with rule-based standards may be one reason for professional accountants’ relatively lower scores on measures of moral reasoning (Abdolmohammadi et al. J Bus Ethics 16 (1997) 1717). We administered the Rokeach Values Survey (RVS) (Rokeach: 1973, The Nature of Human Values (...)
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  2. Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi, William J. Read & D. Paul Scarbrough (2003). Does Selection-Socialization Help to Explain Accountants' Weak Ethical Reasoning? Journal of Business Ethics 42 (1):71 - 81.
    Recent business headlines, particularly those related to the collapsed energy-trading giant, Enron and its auditor, Arthur Andersen raise concerns about accountants'' ethical reasoning. We propose, and provide evidence from 90 new auditors from Big-Five accounting firms, that a selection-socialization effect exists in the accounting profession that results in hiring accountants with disproportionately higher levels of the Sensing/Thinking (ST) cognitive style. This finding is important and relevant because we also find that the ST cognitive style is associated with relatively low levels (...)
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  3. William J. Bollom (1988). Ethics and Self-Regulation for CPAs in the U.S.A. Journal of Business Ethics 7 (1-2):55 - 61.
    This paper explores three questions: (1) Why should Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), as a group, adhere to their code of ethics? (2) Why should an individual CPA adhere to the code? (3) Of what significance are the answers to these questions in regards to possible changes in the accounting curriculum and the CPA profession's present concern for self-regulation through quality control reviews? The paper concludes that all college accounting majors should be required to take an ethics course and that the (...)
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  4. Gail Eynon, Nancy Thorley Hills & Kevin T. Stevens (1997). Factors That Influence the Moral Reasoning Abilities of Accountants: Implications for Universities and the Profession. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1297-1309.
    The need to maintain the public trust in the integrity of the accounting profession has led to increased interest in research that examines the moral reasoning abilities (MRA) of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This study examines the MRA of CPAs practicing in small firms or as sole practitioners and the factors that affect MRA throughout their working careers.The results indicate that small-firm accounting practitioners exhibit lower MRA than expected for professionals and that age, gender and socio-political beliefs affect the moral (...)
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  5. James Franklin, Accountancy and the Quantification of Rights: Giving Moral Values Legal Teeth. Centre for an Ethical Society Papers.
    If a company’s share price rises when it sacks workers, or when it makes money from polluting the environment, it would seem that the accounting is not being done correctly. Real costs are not being paid. People’s ethical claims, which in a smaller-scale case would be legally enforceable, are not being measured in such circumstances. This results from a mismatch between the applied ethics tradition and the practice of the accounting profession. Applied ethics has mostly avoided quantification of rights, while (...)
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  6. James Franklin (1998). Accountancy as Computational Casuistics. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 17 (4):21-37.
    When a company raises its share price by sacking workers or polluting the environment, it is avoiding paying real costs. Accountancy, which quantifies certain rights, needs to combine with applied ethics to create a "computational casuistics" or "moral accountancy", which quantifies the rights and obligations of individuals and companies. Such quantification has proved successful already in environmental accounting, in health care allocation and in evaluating compensation payments. It is argued that many rights are measurable with sufficient accuracy to make them (...)
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  7. Asher Friedberg (1998). Ethical Aspects of Internal Auditing. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (8):895-904.
    This article is intended to emphasize several ethical issues relating to the activities of the internal auditor. The points of view expressed relate mainly to the public sector of Israel. Beyond the discussion of the specific issues against its unique Israeli background (Internal Audit Law), the discussion throws light on general problems that have not yet been solved.
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