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  1. Ethical Attitudes of Accounting Practitioners: Are Rank and Ethical Attitudes Related?Stephen J. Conroy, Tisha L. N. Emerson & Frank Pons - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 91 (2):183-194.
    We address a previous finding in the business ethics literature in which accounting professionals in higher rank levels, i.e., “manager” or “partner” of auditing firms, appear to have lower moral reasoning ability than their junior counterparts. Prior investigations have relied upon a similar methodology for estimating ethical beliefs, namely testing “moral reasoning ability” using either the Moral Judgment Interview or Defining Issues Test. In the present study, we use a multiple vignettes approach to test for the existence of the inverse (...)
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  • The Influence of Ethics Instruction, Religiosity, and Intelligence on Cheating Behavior.James M. Bloodgood, William H. Turnley & Peter Mudrack - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 82 (3):557-571.
    This study examines the influence of ethics instruction, religiosity, and intelligence on cheating behavior. A sample of 230 upper level, undergraduate business students had the opportunity to increase their chances of winning money in an experimental situation by falsely reporting their task performance. In general, the results indicate that students who attended worship services more frequently were less likely to cheat than those who attended worship services less frequently, but that students who had taken a course in business ethics were (...)
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  • Ideals-Based Accountability and Reputation in Select Family Firms.Isabelle Le Breton-Miller & Danny Miller - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (2):183-196.
    We develop a model of ideals-based accountability which we have witnessed at work in several long-thriving family businesses. The owners and managers of these firms eschew individualism and materiality in the pursuit of ethical ideals such as supporting democracy and bettering the human condition. Although accountability is to these ideals, not for outcomes such as profitability or even reputation, IBA has resulted in outstanding reputations for some firms. We characterize IBA according to its missions, leadership, culture, and stakeholder relationships. We (...)
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  • Pathways to Corporate Accountability: Corporate Reputation and Its Alternatives.Craig E. Carroll & Rowena Olegario - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (2):173-181.
    The aim of our themed symposium is to explore the limits and possibilities of corporate reputation for enabling corporate accountability. We articulate three perspectives on corporate accountability. The communicative perspective equates accountability with disclosure and stakeholder engagement. The phenomenological perspective focuses on stakeholder expectations and reputation management. The consequential perspective focuses on effects/consequences. We then examine how corporate accountability is understood, how it relates to ideals, mission, and purpose, alternative pathways to corporate accountability, reputational consequences, and the role algorithms play (...)
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  • Executive Compensation and Corporate Fraud in China.Martin J. Conyon & Lerong He - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 134 (4):669-691.
    This study investigates the relation between CEO compensation and corporate fraud in China. We document a significantly negative correlation between CEO compensation and corporate fraud using data on publicly traded firms between 2005 and 2010. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that firms penalize CEOs for fraud by lowering their pay. We also find that CEO compensation is lower in firms that commit more severe frauds. Panel data fixed effects and propensity score methods are used to demonstrate these effects. (...)
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  • Truthfulness in Accounting: How to Discriminate Accounting Manipulators From Non-Manipulators.Alina Beattrice Vladu, Oriol Amat & Dan Dacian Cuzdriorean - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 140 (4):633-648.
    Accountants preparing information are in a position to manipulate the view of economic reality presented in such information to interested parties. These manipulations can be regarded as morally reprehensible because they are not fair to users, they involve in an unjust exercise of power, and they tend to weaken the authority of accounting regulators. This paper develops a model for detecting earnings manipulators using financial statements’ ratios in a sample of Spanish listed companies. Our results provide evidence that accounting data (...)
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  • The Reputation Effects of Earnings Management in the Internal Labor Market.Steven E. Kaplan & Susan P. Ravenscroft - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (3):453-478.
    The current study is designed to propose and test a model about the ethical reputation of a target manager who must decide whether to engage in earnings management. We employ an experimental approach to examine the potential negative reputation effects within the internal labor market of a firm that occur as a consequence of earnings management. We examine participants’ responses to a hypothetical (target) manager when both the target’s behavior and the corporate incentives were manipulated. Participants assessed how ethical they (...)
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  • The Role of Intent on Accounting Students’ Ethical Attitudes Towards Earnings Management.George Lan, Maureen Gowing & Talal Al-Hayale - 2015 - Journal of Academic Ethics 13 (4):345-362.
    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether intent, an attribute of earnings management, affected the evaluation of the level of ethical acceptability of other EM attributes reported by senior Canadian undergraduate accounting students. Extending work in the U.S. begun by Merchant and Rockness and Bruns and Merchant, 22–25, 1990), our results indicate that there were statistically significant differences in the assessments of ethical acceptability attributable to intent. There were also significant differences attributable to gender.
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  • Recognizing Ethical Issues: An Examination of Practicing Industry Accountants and Accounting Students.Krista Fiolleau & Steven E. Kaplan - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 142 (2):259-276.
    It has long been recognized that accountants practicing in business settings have a dual role: as employees, they are bound to the organization, and as professionals, they are bound by the profession’s code of ethical conduct : 119–128, 1986). These two roles highlight the need to recognize and consider both the ethical and economic implications of their decisions. Practicing industry accountants are commonly involved in a broad range of their firm’s business practices and decision making, and are increasingly exposed to (...)
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  • The Impact of Ethical Leadership, the Internal Audit Function, and Moral Intensity on a Financial Reporting Decision.Barbara Arel, Cathy A. Beaudoin & Anna M. Cianci - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 109 (3):351-366.
    Two elements of corporate governance—the strength of ethical executive leadership and the internal audit function (IAF hereafter)—provide guidance to accounting managers making decisions involving uncertainty. We examine the joint effect of these two factors, manipulated at two levels (strong, weak), in an experiment in which accounting professionals decide whether to book a questionable journal entry (i.e., a journal entry for which a reasonable business case can be made but there is no supporting documentation). We find that ethical leadership and the (...)
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  • Taking Stock of Accounting Ethics Scholarship: A Review of the Journal Literature. [REVIEW]Roberta Bampton & Christopher J. Cowton - 2013 - 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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  • Does Industry Regulation Matter? New Evidence on Audit Committees and Earnings Management.Lerong He & Rong Yang - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 123 (4):573-589.
    This paper investigates the moderating role of industry regulation on the effectiveness of audit committees in restricting earnings management. Using comprehensive panel data of S&P 1500 firms between 2003 and 2007, we find that the proportion of CEO directors on an audit committee is positively associated with earnings management in unregulated industries, while this association is significantly weaker in regulated industries. Further, the proportion of financial experts on an audit committee is negatively associated with earnings management. Our results also indicate (...)
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  • Ethical Climate, Social Responsibility, and Earnings Management.William E. Shafer - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 126 (1):43-60.
    This study proposes and tests a model of the relations among corporate accountants’ perceptions of the ethical climate in their organization, the perceived importance of corporate ethics and social responsibility, and earnings management decisions. Based on a field survey of professional accountants employed by private industry in Hong Kong, we found that perceptions of the organizational ethical climate were significantly associated with belief in the importance of corporate ethics and responsibility. Belief in the importance of ethics and social responsibility was (...)
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  • A Cognitive–Intuitionist Model of Moral Judgment.Adenekan Dedeke - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 126 (3):1-21.
    The study of moral decision-making presents to us two approaches for understanding such choices. The cognitive and the neurocognitive approaches postulate that reason and reasoning determines moral judgments. On the other hand, the intuitionist approaches postulate that automated intuitions mostly dominate moral judgments. There is a growing concern that neither of these approaches by itself captures all the key aspects of moral judgments. This paper draws on models from neurocognitive research and social-intuitionist research areas to propose an integrative cognitive–intuitive model (...)
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  • The Impact of CFOs’ Incentives and Earnings Management Ethics on Their Financial Reporting Decisions: The Mediating Role of Moral Disengagement.George T. Tsakumis, Anna M. Cianci & Cathy A. Beaudoin - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 128 (3):505-518.
    Despite regulatory reforms aimed at inhibiting aggressive financial reporting, earnings management persists and continues to concern practitioners, regulators, and standard setters. To provide insight into this practice and how to mitigate it, we conduct an experiment to examine the impact of two independent variables on CFOs’ discretionary expense accruals. One independent variable, incentive conflict, is manipulated at two levels —i.e., the presence or absence of a personal financial incentive that conflicts with a corporate financial incentive. The other independent variable is (...)
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  • Does Religion Mitigate Earnings Management? Evidence From China.Xingqiang Du, Wei Jian, Shaojuan Lai, Yingjie Du & Hongmei Pei - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 131 (3):699-749.
    Using a sample of 11,357 firm-year observations from the Chinese stock market for the period of 2001–2011, we investigate whether and how religion can mitigate earnings management. Specifically, based on geographic-proximity-based religion variables, we provide strong and robust evidence to show that religion is significantly negatively associated with the extent of earnings management, suggesting that religion can serve as a set of social norms to mitigate corporate unethical behavior such as earnings management. Our findings also reveal that the negative association (...)
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  • The Effects of Management’s Preannouncement Strategies on Investors’ Judgments of the Trustworthiness of Management.Anna M. Cianci & S. Kaplan - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 79 (4):423-444.
    This paper examines the role of management's earnings preannouncements on judgments about its trustworthiness by nonprofessional investors. We predict that management's preannouncement decision and the resulting direction of the earnings surprise influence investors' ethical judgments about management's trustworthiness; these judgments, in turn, are associated with investors' other investment related judgments. We test our predictions in an experiment in which MBA students make investment-related judgments under four different preannouncement strategies. Consistent with our predictions, the results of our study show that managers' (...)
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  • Management Attempts to Avoid Accounting Disclosure Oversight: The Effects of Trust and Knowledge on Corporate Directors' Governance Ability. [REVIEW]Anna M. Rose & Jacob M. Rose - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (2):193 - 205.
    Management has the opportunity to promote self-serving accounting practices, such as earnings management, when management can effectively avoid oversight by the audit committee. This article investigates the effects of financial knowledge and dispositional trust on the ability of audit committee members to recognize management attempts to avoid full disclosure to the board and potentially deceive board members. The results of a controlled laboratory experiment with 40 experienced audit committee member participants indicate that: (1) Audit committee members with less financial knowledge (...)
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  • A Review of The Empirical Ethical Decision-Making Literature: 1996–2003. [REVIEW]Michael J. O’Fallon & Kenneth D. Butterfield - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 59 (4):375-413.
    This review summarizes and critiques the empirical ethical decision-making literature from 1996–2003. One hundred and seventy-four articles were published in top business journals during this period. Tables are included that summarize the findings by dependent variable – awareness, judgment, intent, and behavior. We compare this review with past reviews in order to draw conclusions regarding trends in the ethical decision-making literature and to surface directions for future research.
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  • The Effect of Ethical Orientation and Professional Commitment on Earnings Management Behavior.A. C. Greenfield, Carolyn Strand Norman & Benson Wier - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (3):419-434.
    The purpose of this study is twofold. The first objective is to examine the impact of an individual's ethical ideology and level of professional commitment on the earnings management decision. The second objective is to observe whether the presence of a personal benefit affects an individual's ethical orientation or professional commitment within the context of an opportunity to manage earnings. Using a sample of 375 undergraduate business majors, our results suggest a significant relationship between an individual's ethical orientation and decision-making. (...)
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  • An Examination of the Ethical Commitment of Professional Accountants to Auditor Independence.Yves Gendron, Roy Suddaby & Helen Lam - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 64 (2):169-193.
    This research explores the relationship between work context and professional ethics. Specifically, we analyze through an online survey of professional accountants the degree to which changing work conditions have altered individual accountants ’ commitment to the core professional value of auditor independence. We argue that certain changes in the condition of work have made some categories of accountants more susceptible to the logic of commercialism rather than the logic of professionalism. We find general support for this argument. We observe that (...)
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  • Ethical Attitudes of Accountants: Recent Evidence From a Practitioners' Survey. [REVIEW]Tisha L. N. Emerson, Stephen J. Conroy & Charles W. Stanley - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 71 (1):73 - 87.
    Recent highly publicized ethical breaches including those at Enron and WorldCom have focused attention on ethical behavior within the accounting profession. At the heart of the debate is whether ethical attitudes of accountants are to blame. Using a nationally representative sample of accounting practitioners and a multidisciplinary student sample at two Southern United States universities, we compare sample responses to 25 ethically charged vignettes to test whether they differ. Overall, we find no significant difference – even for a specific “accounting (...)
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  • Ethical Management, Corporate Governance, and Abnormal Accruals.Pinghsun Huang, Timothy J. Louwers, Jacquelyn Sue Moffitt & Yan Zhang - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (3):469-487.
    Recent research has linked the reduction of abnormal accruals to corporate governance metrics. The results of these studies, however, are based on samples taken from periods prior to promulgated board independence requirements. In other words, during this time period, management not only had discretion over accounting accruals, but also significant influence over the choice of membership on the board of directors. This study suggests that ethical management practices may be a correlated omitted variable in these studies, thus resulting in causal (...)
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  • A Review of The Empirical Ethical Decision-Making Literature: 1996–2003. [REVIEW]Michael J. O’Fallon & Kenneth D. Butterfield - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 59 (4):375 - 413.
    This review summarizes and critiques the empirical ethical decision-making literature from 1996-2003. One hundred and seventy-four articles were published in top business journals during this period. Tables are included that summarize the findings by dependent variable - awareness, judgment, intent, and behavior. We compare this review with past reviews in order to draw conclusions regarding trends in the ethical decision-making literature and to surface directions for future research.
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  • Mba Ceos, Short-Term Management and Performance.Danny Miller & Xiaowei Xu - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (2):285-300.
    There is ample discussion of MBA self-serving values in the corporate social responsibility literature, and yet empirical studies regarding the corporate manifestations and consequences of those values are scant. In a comprehensive study of major US public corporations, we find that MBA CEOs are more apt than their non-MBA counterparts to engage in short-term strategic expedients such as positive earnings management and suppression of R&D, which in turn are followed by compromised firm market valuations.
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  • Investigating Moral Ideology, Ethical Beliefs, and Moral Intensity Among Consumers of Pakistan.Syed Afzal Moshadi Shah & Shehla Amjad - 2017 - Asian Journal of Business Ethics 6 (2):153-187.
    The purpose of the study is to empirically examine moral ideology, ethical beliefs, and moral intensity in the context of Pakistan. Jones, 366–395, 1991) model and Muncy and Vitell have extensively been investigated and validated in west for examining ethical decision-making process. This study examines and validates these models in a collectivist cultural settings, i.e., Pakistan. A self-administered online survey technique using convenience sampling technique was used to gather data from a sample of 1000 consumers in Pakistan. Final analysis was (...)
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  • Corporate Fraud and Managers’ Behavior: Evidence From the Press.Jeffrey Cohen, Yuan Ding, Cédric Lesage & Hervé Stolowy - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 95 (S2):271-315.
    Based on evidence from press articles covering 39 corporate fraud cases that went public during the period 1992-2005, the objective of this article is to examine the role of managers' behavior in the commitment of the fraud. This study integrates the fraud triangle (FT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of fraud cases. The results of the analysis suggest that personality traits appear to be a major fraud-risk factor. The analysis was further validated through (...)
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  • Misleading Forecasts in Accounting Estimates: A Form of Ethical Blindness in Accounting Standards?Wally Smieliauskas, Kathryn Bewley, Ulfert Gronewold & Ulrich Menzefricke - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 152 (2):437-457.
    The current financial reporting environment, with its increasing use of accounting estimates, including fair value estimates, suggests that unethical accounting estimates may be a growing concern. This paper provides explanations and empirical evidence for why some types of accounting estimates in financial reporting may promote a form of ethical blindness. These types of ethical blindness can have an escalating effect that corrupts not only an individual or organization but also the accounting profession and the public interest it serves. Ethical blindness (...)
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  • The Role of Power in Financial Statement Fraud Schemes.Chad Albrecht, Daniel Holland, Ricardo Malagueño, Simon Dolan & Shay Tzafrir - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 131 (4):803-813.
    In this paper, we investigate a large-scale financial statement fraud to better understand the process by which individuals are recruited to participate in financial statement fraud schemes. The case reveals that perpetrators often use power to recruit others to participate in fraudulent acts. To illustrate how power is used, we propose a model, based upon the classical French and Raven taxonomy of power, that explains how one individual influences another individual to participate in financial statement fraud. We also provide propositions (...)
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  • Family Control, Socioemotional Wealth and Earnings Management in Publicly Traded Firms.Geoffrey Martin, Joanna Tochman Campbell & Luis Gomez-Mejia - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 133 (3):453-469.
    We examine the unique nature of agency problems within publicly traded family firms by investigating the earnings management decision of dominant family owners relative to non-family. To do so, we draw upon literature demonstrating that family owners are loss averse with respect to the family’s socioemotional wealth, or the affective endowment derived from firm ownership and control. Our theory and findings suggest that potential reputational consequences of earnings management lead family principals to engage in less of this practice relative to (...)
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  • Ethical Attitudes of Accountants: Recent Evidence From a Practitioners’ Survey.Tisha L. N. Emerson, Stephen J. Conroy & Charles W. Stanley - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 71 (1):73-87.
    Recent highly publicized ethical breaches including those at Enron and WorldCom have focused attention on ethical behavior within the accounting profession. At the heart of the debate is whether ethical attitudes of accountants are to blame. Using a nationally representative sample of accounting practitioners and a multidisciplinary student sample at two Southern United States universities, we compare sample responses to 25 ethically charged vignettes to test whether they differ. Overall, we find no significant difference - even for a specific "accounting (...)
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  • Management Attempts to Avoid Accounting Disclosure Oversight: The Effects of Trust and Knowledge on Corporate Directors’ Governance Ability.Anna M. Rose & Jacob M. Rose - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (2):193-205.
    Management has the opportunity to promote self-serving accounting practices, such as earnings management, when management can effectively avoid oversight by the audit committee. This article investigates the effects of financial knowledge and dispositional trust on the ability of audit committee members to recognize management attempts to avoid full disclosure to the board and potentially deceive board members. The results of a controlled laboratory experiment with 40 experienced audit committee member participants indicate that: Audit committee members with less financial knowledge are (...)
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  • The Effects of Ethical Pressure and Power Distance Orientation on Unethical Pro‐Organizational Behavior: The Case of Earnings Management.Qing Tian & Dane K. Peterson - 2016 - Business Ethics: A European Review 25 (2):159-171.
    A multiphase study tested a proposed mediated moderation model for the joint effects of ethical pressure and power distance orientation on accountants’ ethical judgments of earnings management. Results based on a sample of 354 accountants from China indicated that the relationship between ethical pressure and ethical judgments of earnings management is contingent on the accountants’ power distance orientation. That is, the relationship between ethical pressure and ethical judgments of earnings management was stronger for accountants with a high power distance orientation. (...)
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