Value Preferences, Political Orientation and Moral Reasoning of Certified Public Accountants
35 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2008
Date Written: January 3, 2008
Numerous studies have reported a significant negative relation between moral reasoning (as measured by the Defining Issues Test) and political conservatism. However, recent studies with accounting subjects (Bailey et al. 2004, Bernardi et al. 2004) and other subjects (Bailey 2007) have found little or no relation and have called for more research. We use a sample of 309 practicing Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to investigate this issue further and also present a variable composed of four value preferences that may explain the mixed results of prior studies. Our findings indicate a statistically significant inverse relation between moral reasoning and conservatism in univariate tests. However, this relation disappears in multivariate tests, where a composite measure of four individual value preferences (broadminded, imaginative, salvation, and obedient) from the Rokeach Value Survey is highly significant in explaining variation in moral reasoning. Our findings add to those suggesting caution in the interpretation of scores from the Defining Issues Test.
Keywords: moral reasoning, political orientation, value preferences, Rokeach values
JEL Classification: C91, M41, M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation