Do Upbringing and Formal Education Influence Ethical Decision Making? A Study of Professional Accountants in Nigeria

Oboh, C.S (2018-08-16)

Conference Papers


This paper examined the influence of upbringing and education on specific processes, named ethical recognition, ethical judgment, and ethical intention, involved in the ethical decision making of professional accountants in Nigeria. Primary data were obtained from 329 professional accountants with the aid of a structured questionnaire containing four different vignettes of ethical dilemmas. The results of Kendall's tau-b correlation analysis and Kruskal-Wallis and Jonckheere-Terpstra tests showed that strictness of upbringing and level of education significantly influenced the ethical decision-making process of professional accountants. The paper concluded that upbringing and education are significant determinants of ethical recognition and ethical intention and not ethical judgment. Therefore, stricter upbringing and higher level of education may aid ethical decision making in dilemmatic situations at the workplace. Future theorising and empirical study in ethical decision-making should consider the roles of upbringing and education.