Accounting ethics education in university undergraduate accounting programmes in the UK and Ireland: drivers, shapers and ideal types

Picton, Beth E. (2022) Accounting ethics education in university undergraduate accounting programmes in the UK and Ireland: drivers, shapers and ideal types. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Accounting scandals over recent years have led to renewed calls for ethics education for those studying accountancy in universities as well as within the profession. This research examines the current state of accounting ethics education in undergraduate accounting programmes across the UK and Ireland. The study uses a Pedagogy of Accounting Ethics Education (Apostolou, Dull and Schleifer, 2013) as a framework examining the need for inclusion, learning objectives, content, mode of delivery and assessment.

The study adopted a sequential mixed methods approach using an initial survey to canvas educators on their existing practice and its key drivers. The second phase of the study was a series of interviews with educators teaching ethics in accounting programmes. The interviews provided rich data on current practices and preferred practices. This was examined using template analysis permitting both anticipated and emerging themes to be explored.

A mixed picture emerged of the current provision of ethics education with few areas of agreement and inconsistencies between narratives and practice. The professional accounting bodies emerge as they key driver and shaper of the current accounting ethics education provision. However, the personal motivations of those involved in the design and presentation of the provision should not be underestimated as these emerged as a close second to the professional bodies in driving the inclusion of ethics in the curriculum.

The research permitted the development of two models of accounting ethics education; one based on philosophy, the other based on codes of ethics. These are presented as Weberian “ideal types” to educators as two distinct, internally consistent pathways for the inclusion of ethics in the accounting curriculum.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: pedagogy, accounting ethics education models, learning objectives, curriculum development
Subjects: N400 Accounting
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Business Administration
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2023 08:41
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2023 08:45

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