Title: An exploratory study of awareness and intensity of ethical dilemmas: a comparative study between Sri Lankan and New Zealand accounting professionals
Authors: Nirupika Liyanapathirana; Grant Samkin; Mary Low; Howard Davey
Addresses: Business School, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand ' School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand; Department of Financial Accounting, College of Accounting Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa ' School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand ' School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Abstract: Employing the theoretical perspective of moral awareness, in conjunction with Jones' (1991) intensity measures and previous findings of empirical studies, this study explores the ethical awareness of Sri Lankan and New Zealand accounting professionals. Responses were obtained for a series of seven vignettes through semi-structured interviews with 21 accounting professionals. Data was analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings for the different types of vignettes suggest that culture does matter in the identification of an ethical dilemma in terms of moral intensity, and particularly, the magnitude of the consequences. In particular, Sri Lankans and New Zealanders' national cultures have a strong influence on specific vignettes, including bribery and unfair discrimination, with regard to their moral awareness. Systematic understanding of how cultural differences shape awareness of various ethical dilemmas will help accounting professionals have better preparedness against potential unethical behaviour.
Keywords: ethical dilemmas; culture; ethical awareness; moral intensity; accounting professionals; Sri Lanka; New Zealand.
International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2021 Vol.12 No.2, pp.129 - 155
Received: 16 Sep 2020
Accepted: 29 Dec 2020
Published online: 04 Jun 2021 *