Revitalizing Accounting Ethics Research in the Neo-Kohlbergian Framework: Putting the DIT into Perspective

Posted: 25 Mar 2010 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012

See all articles by Charles D. Bailey

Charles D. Bailey

James Madison University

Irana Scott

Elon University - Love School of Business; Independent

Stephen J. Thoma

Independent

Date Written: March 18, 2010

Abstract

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

Bailey, Charles D. and Scott, Irana and Thoma, Stephen J., Revitalizing Accounting Ethics Research in the Neo-Kohlbergian Framework: Putting the DIT into Perspective (March 18, 2010). 22:2 (2010): 1–26.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1574198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1574198

Charles D. Bailey (Contact Author)

James Madison University ( email )

Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States
901 484-0867 (Phone)

Irana Scott

Elon University - Love School of Business ( email )

Elon, NC 27244
United States

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Stephen J. Thoma

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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