Revitalizing Accounting Ethics Research in the Neo-Kohlbergian Framework: Putting the DIT into Perspective
Posted: 25 Mar 2010 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012
Date Written: March 18, 2010
The authors briefly review neo-Kohlbergian theory and provide an updated, contemporary view of the DIT. With this background, they present a framework for research using the DIT, drawing on Rest’s (1986) Four Component Model. They note the existence of recent developments, including “intermediate concepts” that decision-makers normally invoke before falling back upon the “bedrock schema” that the DIT measures. Metrics available from the DIT, but generally neglected, are discussed, including the Utilizer score (reflecting reliance upon ethical factors versus competing factors) and Consolidation Transition Type (indicating whether an individual relies upon a clear schema or is torn between competing schemas). Using this framework, they review the status of some well-known controversies in the accounting and auditing literature and suggest a number of research areas and approaches for future work. As such, the work complements and extends existing review articles that have included DIT-based literature in accounting and auditing.
Keywords: Ethical Judgment, Ethical Behavior, Defining Issues Test, Kohlberg, Rest’s Four-Component Model
JEL Classification: M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation