Ethical Predisposition of Certified Public Accountants: A Study of Gender Differences

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 16: 29-56, 2012

42 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Donald Lamar Ariail

Donald Lamar Ariail

Kennesaw State University

Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy

Murphy Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Using a sample of 304 Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), this paper investigates gender differences in moral development and personal value preferences of CPAs. We used the Defining Issues Test (DIT) to measure moral development, the Rokeach (1973) Value Survey (RVS) to determine value preferences, and the Musser and Orke (1992) typology to determine value type preferences. The typology analysis indicates that all CPAs in our sample prefer personal values to social values. From an overall ethical predisposition standpoint, males and females are more alike than different; yet, there were a few notable differences. Specifically, males prefer competence values and females have higher preference for moral values. For example, while male CPAs exhibit higher priorities for the competence values of imaginative and logical, female CPAs exhibit higher priority for the moral value of loving. We also find a gender effect for moral development, where female CPAs significantly outscore their male counterparts.

Keywords: moral development, ethics, DIT, personal values, value types, RVS

JEL Classification: J16, M4, M41

Suggested Citation

Ariail, Donald Lamar and Abdolmohammadi, Mohammad J. and Smith, Murphy, Ethical Predisposition of Certified Public Accountants: A Study of Gender Differences (2012). Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 16: 29-56, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2395967

Donald Lamar Ariail

Kennesaw State University ( email )

United States
678-915-7387 (Phone)
678-915-4967 (Fax)

Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

175 Forest Street
279 Adamian Academic Center
Waltham, MA 02452
United States
781-891-2976 (Phone)

Murphy Smith (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting ( email )

6300 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

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