The effect of groupwork on ethical decision-making of accountancy students
O'Leary, Conor & Pangemanan, Gladies V. (2007) The effect of groupwork on ethical decision-making of accountancy students. Journal of Business Ethics, 75(3), pp. 215-228.
Recent accounting scandals involving the collapse of large corporate firms have brought into question the adequacy of ethics education within accounting programs. This paper investigates the ethical decisions of accountancy students and in particular analyses the effect of group (as opposed to individual) decision-making on ethical decisions. Final year accountancy students (sample size of 165) were randomly allocated into two experimental conditions. The participants were then presented with five (5) ethical vignettes. One experimental condition involved completing the ethical decisions as individuals (60). The other involved completing the ethical decision making as a group of 3-4 participants (34). A consistent pattern of behaviour was observed in the analysis of individual versus group responses. Individuals displayed stronger tendencies than groups to take the extreme actions of acting either unethically or ethically (whistleblowing), whereas groups displayed stronger tendencies to take the safer (neutral) options. It was concluded that groups reached consensus decisions, in an ethical context, probably as a result of peer pressure. The significant implication of this finding is in relation to the emphasis accounting programs place on group work. Group work may enhance students’ abilities to work as a team. However, as revealed in this study’s results, group work may not be an effective means of producing the optimal decision in all subject matter areas, especially complex areas such as ethical decision-making.
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Ethics, final year accountancy students, groupthink, training, whistleblower|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School|
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2007 Springer|
|Copyright Statement:||The original publication is available at SpringerLink http://www.springerlink.com|
|Deposited On:||05 Feb 2008|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 23:31|
Repository Staff Only: item control page