The effects of ethical pressure and power distance orientation on unethical pro‐organizational behavior: the case of earnings management

Business Ethics: A European Review 25 (2):159-171 (2016)
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Abstract

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. The results also demonstrated that ethical beliefs in support of the company serve as a mediator for the interaction effect of ethical pressure and power distance orientation on the outcome. These results are discussed in terms of viewing earnings management as a form of unethical pro-organizational behavior which can be effectively investigated within the framework of the person-situation interactionist model

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