Title

An empirical examination of ethical decision making by corporate accountants in Taiwan

Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Accounting)

School

School of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Prof. Malcolm Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Theo Christopher

Abstract

The recent accounting scandals, characterised by the Enron affair, have not been confined to the U.S.A., but have been a worldwide phenomenon, embracing Taiwan. Most of them have involved dysfunctional behaviour incorporating earnings management. The factors which encourage earnings management decisions and the subsequent outcomes provide the motivation for this study. The study examines accountants’ earnings management behaviour in quoted firms in Taiwan, and addresses a primary issue: what are the factors which affect accountants’ ethical decision making in an earnings management context? The following subsidiary research questions were examined. (1) Does a firm’s ethical work climate affect earnings management decision making? (2) Do individual characteristics affect earnings management decision making? (3) Does moral intensity of ethical issue affect earnings management decision making?

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