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Title: Ethics, virtue and decision-making : an investigation of the ethical decision-making process of accountants in business
Author: Burt, Jane Lindsay
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 7692
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2015
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High profile corporate collapses have led to an increasing loss of confidence in, and scepticism within society about, the role of the accountancy profession and the conduct of the business community. While high ethical standards are generally regarded as one of the hallmarks of a profession, concern has been expressed in the academic literature as well as within the media about the ethical standards of the accountancy profession. Professional accountants often encounter situations in their work that involve ethical dilemmas. The nature of their work is grounded in a relationship that has inherent conflicts, especially in terms of whether accountants should and do act in the public or private interests and whether these two interests are mutually exclusive. Most of the academic literature on the ethics of accountants concentrates on accountants in public practice. However, the inherent conflicts can be especially relevant to accountants who occupy a position in business. The demands placed on accountants in the workplace, often driven by the profit motive, can occasionally compromise personal and professional ethical values, where individual accountants have felt pressure to conform to organisational interests. Thus, when faced with an ethical dilemma, the ability to make sound judgements - seen by many as a necessary tool in fulfilling the role of a professional accountant - is a critical component in advancing the decision-making process (Gough, 1998). The accountancy bodies recognise and understand that their professional status is dependent on a visible response to criticism of questionable decisions made by individual accountants. Hence, they have established a Code of Ethics to help provide professional guidance when an individual or individuals are confronted with potential personal and professional ethical dilemma-type situations. The profession, in showing a willingness to align its ethical objectives with societal expectations, have also implemented ethics training as part of the professional qualification and through continuing professional development; the objective being to develop an awareness of, and offer guidance on ethical decision-making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available