An assessment of ethics instruction in accounting education

Journal of Business Ethics 11 (1):37 - 46 (1992)

Business school faculty have begun to increase ethics instruction, but very little has been done to assess the effectiveness of this instruction. Curricula-wide studies present conflicting results of the effect of ethics integration into the business curricula. Several studies suggest that courses like business ethics and business and society might have an effect on the ethical awareness or ethical reasoning of business students. A belief of many individuals interested in business ethics is that students must be exposed to ethical awareness and ethical reasoning in business ethics and business and society-type courses and this should be supplemented by discussions of these topics in various business courses such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and others.This study reports the results of integrating a unit of business ethics into eleven accounting classes at two universities. An approach for measuring the effect of ethics integration into accounting and other business courses is suggested, and an assessment is made of the impact of ethics integration on students in accounting classes. Results indicate that the principles on which students rely when making moral decisions were affected by ethics integration. After ethics integration, students relied more heavily on the disclosure rule, the golden rule, and the professional ethic.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00871990
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