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Business ethics : a cross-cultural comparison of accounting students
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Soheila MirshekarySoheila Mirshekary, Beth TennentBeth Tennent, Ali-Mohammad YaftianAli-Mohammad Yaftian
Business ethics has been recognised as a critical issue following major company collapses around the world. In recent years the Australian corporate sector has been witness to the failure of a number of corporations, including HIH Insurance, One.Tel, Ansett Australia and Harris Scarfe. These collapses have had effects on different aspects of Australian business and consequently resulted in reforms of corporate governance (Mirshekary, Yaftian & Cross, 2005). Corporate governance reform effects should be based on personal integrity, honesty and truthfulness rather than tougher legislation and corporate governance rules (Owen, 2003). Integrity entails much more than conformity to a set of rules and personal qualities such as integrity, honesty and morality are regarded as essential to the accountant. Ethical frameworks will assist accounting students in dealing with controversial problems in business such as whistle blowing and conflict of interest. This study examines students' ethical behaviours, using multiple academic and accounting/business scenarios and focusing on the ethical attitudes of final year accountancy students who are of Australian or non-Australian origin. The results indicate that all respondents agree with the ethical nature of the statements but there are 18 out of 30 significant differences in the responses between Australian and Non-Australian students, with Australian students being more ethical.