Ethics And Ethical Decision Making Essays

Ethics And Ethical Decision Making Essays

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Ethics play differing level roles in all aspects of our lives and the various decisions we make on a daily basis. Ethics in the accounting professional’s life is particularly important because he or she is keeping records and producing reports that many other people in the business world rely on to make business decisions (Kimmel, Weygandt, & Kieso, 2015). Accountants have an obligation and responsibility to report accurately and to make ethical decisions (Kimmel, Weygandt, & Kieso, 2015). Ethics and ethical decision making are among the topics taught to some degree in many higher education institutions. But is it enough and does it work? In the next pages I will discuss the level and quality, methods used, and effectiveness of covering accounting ethics in higher education.
Before discussing the level to which institutions are including ethics teaching, it is necessary to point out that the general opinion has moved toward the idea that ethics in the classroom is a benefit. In 1989, John S. R. Shad, a former head of the S.E.C. donated $23 million to the Harvard Business School to fund an ethics program. When interviewed he said, “No school, no matter how good, is going to rehabilitate criminals. But what the ethics course can do is sensitize the students to conflicts of interest in business decisions they may never have considered” Wilkes, 1989). In 2007 it was concluded that 95% of accounting faculty felt ethics should be included in the curriculum due to their obligations to the accounting profession (Blanthorne, Kovar, & Fisher, 2007) and again in 2011 it was concluded that 78% of professors still feel it is important to include ethics courses in accounting education (Miller, & Becker, 2011). Furthermore, in their research, Mi...


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... study in 2009 built on many recorded previous studies again concluded that “business ethics matters” (Lau, 2010, p. 581) and after evaluating findings determined, “business education also matters” (Lau, 2010, p. 581). Lau’s study was performed to find how prepared business students were to learn about ethics and if students who had already taken ethics course different from those who had not. Students were put through an ethics course and then given a questionnaire (Lau, 2010). Through many different studies, it has been shown that ethical thinking and reasoning can be improved through ethics education.
The level to which ethics education is added into accounting programs, the methods used to teach the ethics classes and the findings from research on the effectiveness of ethics teaching are all important factors to consider when thinking about ethics in education.

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