Job-Related Ethical Judgment in the Finance Profession
15 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2005
This article investigates the attitudes of 230 finance practitioners with respect to ethical issues in their industry. The respondents' ethical ideology is first measured on the scales of idealism and relativism. Respondents are asked to react to behavior in five scenarios relating to the financial world, ranging from advice on questionable tax avoidance techniques to illegal insider trading. Overall idealism and relativism levels are in line with those found in previous studies of businesspeople in non-financial occupations. Women tend to score higher on idealism and lower on relativism than men, and older respondents exhibit a similar pattern. Age seems to be the major determinant in responses given to professional scenarios; older respondents tend to be stricter in their views, while sex differences are less marked. This result may imply the profession would benefit from increased exposure to ethical issues integrated into academic finance courses and made a part of entry-level job orientation.
JEL Classification: G20, K22, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation