An analysis of the role of moral intensity in auditing judgments

Alice A. KETCHAND, Roselyn E. MORRIS, William E. SHAFER

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This study investigates the applicability of Jones' (1991) moral intensity construct to the ethical judgements and behavioural intentions of auditors in the context of subordination of judgement issues. In two auditing scenarios that present ethical dilemmas based on actual practice cases, components of moral intensity hypothesized to affect ethical judgements and behavioural intentions are varied and tested on a between-subjects basis. Results of ANOVAs indicate that moral intensity elements significantly influence both ethical judgement and behavioural intentions. Additional findings of the study were that auditors estimate relatively high probabilities of unethical actions occurring in practice and, in some cases, auditors' post hoc estimates of dollar amounts that they would consider material misstatements may be influenced by the size of known financial statement errors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on accounting ethics
EditorsLawrence A. PONEMON, Marc J. EPSTEIN, James GAA, Steve G. SUTTON, Gail B. WRIGHT
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherJAI Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)0762305215
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch on Accounting Ethics

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Sam Houston State University Research Enhancement Funds.


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