Moral reasoning of Chinese accounting students and practitioners

Asian Journal of Business Ethics 8 (2):155-171 (2019)
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Abstract

This exploratory study employs the Defining Issues Test to investigate the moral reasoning levels of a sample of 228 accounting students at Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, and 192 accounting practitioners from different regions of China. The results show that on average, the P scores of Chinese accounting students and practitioners are 45.02 and 33.57, respectively. When compared with the levels of moral reasoning of their peers in Western countries, as provided in Tables 1 and 2 of Bailey et al. :1–26, 2010), Chinese accounting students exhibit post-conventional levels of moral development similar to the highest levels reported, whereas Chinese accounting practitioners report post-conventional levels of moral development similar to the lowest levels of post-conventional moral development reported by the practitioners in Western countries. Furthermore, female Chinese accounting students score significantly higher on the post-conventional level of the development stage than do the male Chinese students, but there is no significant gender effect in P scores between the male and female accounting practitioners.

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