Do Personal Beliefs and Values Affect an Individual’s 'Fraud Morality'? Evidence from the World Value Survey

Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming in 2021

Posted: 15 Jul 2019 Last revised: 15 Mar 2021

See all articles by W. Robert Knechel

W. Robert Knechel

University of Florida - Fisher School of Accounting

Natalia M. Mintchik

University of Cincinnati - Department of Accounting

Date Written: December 10, 2020

Abstract

We introduce the concept of fraud morality, validate such conceptualization by prior studies in economics and criminology as well as by our own independent tests, and explore the relationship of fraud morality with numerous cultural attributes using data from the World Values Survey. Applying partial least squares path modeling, we find that people with stronger self-enhancing (self-transcending) values exhibit lower (higher) fraud morality. Further, respondents who believe in the importance of hard work exhibit higher fraud morality, and such beliefs mediate the relationship between locus of control and fraud morality. Finally, we find that people prone to traditional gender stereotypes demonstrate lower fraud morality and document subtle differences in the influence of these cultural attributes across age and gender groups. Our study contributes to research on the fraud triangle, accounting ethics, and corporate governance.

Keywords: fraud; ethics; fraud triangle; fraud morality

JEL Classification: A13; G02; M40; M42; M49

Suggested Citation

Knechel, W. Robert and Mintchik, Natalia M., Do Personal Beliefs and Values Affect an Individual’s 'Fraud Morality'? Evidence from the World Value Survey (December 10, 2020). Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming in 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3419825

W. Robert Knechel

University of Florida - Fisher School of Accounting ( email )

Warrington College of Business
PO Box 117166
Gainesville, FL 32611-7166
United States

Natalia M. Mintchik (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - Department of Accounting ( email )

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0211
United States

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