Semester-Specific Ethical Instruction For Auditing Students
Abstract Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to consider how ethics is currently taught to trainee auditors and to evaluate whether some ethical instruction techniques can be assessed as more effective than others. Design/methodology/approach - Two separate cohorts of auditing students (262) provided responses to audit/accounting ethical scenarios. Each cohort was then subject to three separate ethics teaching techniques (either active or passive), from the two different teaching methodologies (active v. passive) over a semester. Their ethical attitudes to the scenarios were then re-assessed and the teaching techniques evaluated. Findings - Both methodologies were found to impact positively, as both cohorts selected more ethical responses to the scenarios post instruction. Some evidence of active techniques having more effect than passive techniques, on ethical decision making was revealed. Research limitations/implications - More research is needed into the impact of active and passive teaching methodologies on trainee auditors, in the ethics area. Practical implications - Teaching ethics to the audit practitioners of tomorrow is critical. If the optimum mix of ethical teaching methodologies can be assessed, it will result in more effective ethical instruction. This study's results imply careful consideration must be taken in designing ethical training programs for trainee auditors. Social implications - Improvement in the ethical behaviour of auditors will provide more confidence for users of accounting information in the business environment. Originality/value - This paper is original in that it evaluates the impact of a series of ethical instruction methods, as opposed to a single teaching method (the focus of many previous papers) on ethical training. The tentative finding of active methods proving more effective than passive methods is significant, and paves the way for future research.
Managerial Auditing Journal
Auditing and Accountability