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The Role of Moral Reasoning and Order Effects in Ethical Decision Making Ability: The Case of Novice Vs Experienced Accounting Students

Pillalamarri, Sudarshan K (2014) The Role of Moral Reasoning and Order Effects in Ethical Decision Making Ability: The Case of Novice Vs Experienced Accounting Students. Working Paper. EBS Working Papers, University of Essex, Colchester.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is two-fold. Using the P-score from the defining issues test as a proxy for ethical decision making ability, this study firstly investigates whether work experience influences the perceptions about prescriptive and deliberative moral reasoning. Secondly, this study investigates the order effects of presentation of dilemmas on ethical decision making ability of novice and experienced accounting students. Moral reasoning can be categorized as prescriptive i.e. what should ideally be done and deliberative i.e. what is actually done. On account of lack of work experience, novice accounting students do not often face scenarios wherein there is a difference between their prescriptive and deliberative reasoning. This study hypothesizes that novice accounting students cannot differentiate between these two types of reasoning but would exhibit order effects while making ethical decisions. 140 graduate accounting students from universities in Denmark respond to an audit specific DIT instrument, measuring prescriptive and deliberative moral reasoning. The results indicate that, accounting students with work experience exhibit different perceptions to deliberative and prescriptive moral reasoning than novices while novice accounting students exhibit order effects. The implication of this study concerns ethics training to accounting students. This study calls for a more practical and hands on approach ethics training, one which teaches students not only to deal with dilemmas ideally but also trains them to handle dilemmas where in the ideal may not always translate into the actual.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethical decision making ability, moral reasoning, work experience, context of dilemmas
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2014 13:31
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 16:04
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9861

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