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Of Mode of Reasoning and Context: Danish Evidence of Accounting Student’s Moral Reasoning Abilities in Resolving Ethical Dilemmas Related to Fraud

Pillalamarri, Sudarshan K and Holm, Claus (2012) Of Mode of Reasoning and Context: Danish Evidence of Accounting Student’s Moral Reasoning Abilities in Resolving Ethical Dilemmas Related to Fraud. In: American Accounting Association Annual Meeting, 4-8 August 2012, Washington DC.

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Abstract

The differing nature of engagement and work assignments continuously exposes auditors to varied ethical dilemmas. These dilemmas may be, contextually, grey areas for which there may be no official guidelines. To resolve these situations, auditors either undertake prescriptive or deliberative reasoning. The purpose of this study is three-fold, using Kohlberg’s theory of cognitive moral development; this study aims to examine the effect of mode of reasoning on ethical decision-making. Secondly, this study presents the respondents with two ethical contexts in auditing viz. fraud and mundane. The aim is to examine the effect of facing ethical dilemmas arising out of detection of fraud, on the ethical decision-making ability of students. The impetus behind this is to observe the preparedness of accounting students in dealing with issues related to fraud. Finally, this study aims to examine the interaction affects between mode of reasoning and context of dilemmas. The respondents are one hundred forty graduate accounting students from three universities in Denmark. The results suggest that mode of reasoning and context of dilemmas significantly affect ethical decision-making. While previous studies were focused on ethical decision making ability of Danish auditors’, this study closes the loop by presenting an accounting students perspective. By providing an understanding of the complex issues involved in ethical decision-making, this study also serves strategically in strengthening ethics education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 03 May 2013 13:06
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 16:04
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/6122

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