Beyond cultural values : an implicit theory approach to cross-cultural research in accounting ethics

Bernard On-Wing WONG, Gladie LUI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The value dimensional approach for conducting cross-cultural studies in accounting has been subject to various critiques leading to calls for alternative conceptualization and operationalization of culture. The present research responds to those calls by testing the viability of using implicit theories as an alternative to value dimensions for studying cultural differences in the context of morality judgments. Consistent with expectations, results of Experiment I indicate that, independent of cultural values, differences in the implicit theory of causality between Chinese and Americans explained their divergence in inferences about the morality of a fraudster. In Experiments II and III, this effect of implicit theories was compared respectively with that of the individualism/collectivism value dimension and that of the power distance value dimension. Results show that the effect of implicit theories remained significant whereas the effect of both value dimensions was not significant. Implications for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-36
Number of pages22
JournalBehavioral Research in Accounting
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Cultural values
  • Ethics
  • Implicit theory of causality
  • Individualism
  • Morality
  • Power distance


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