Investigating Key Influencing Factors on Ethical Decision Making: A Study of Accounting Students in Indonesia

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Mubarak, Zaki (2018) Investigating Key Influencing Factors on Ethical Decision Making: A Study of Accounting Students in Indonesia. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Worldwide accounting and business scandals have led people to ask about the ethicality of accountants and the role of accounting education in nurturing accounting students. These phenomena have encouraged accounting scholars to investigate factors that affect the ethical decision making (EDM) of accountants and accounting students as future accountants. Meanwhile, some accounting schools in Indonesia have responded to these phenomena by including more religious subjects in their curricula because they believe religion could influence EDM. However, the EDM research in the field of accounting is still underdeveloped. This study extended Rest’s (1986) EDM model by investigating the influence of religiosity, Locus of control (LOC), peer influence, and family influence on the EDM (ethical recognition, ethical judgement, and ethical intention) of accounting students in Indonesia. Furthermore, this study investigated the significant differences in the perception of each influencing factor according to gender and university affiliations. Lastly, this study investigated the extent to which the relationship between key influencing factors and EDM variables are mediated by other EDM variables. Using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), this study found that intrinsic religiosity and internal LOC variables have a significant positive effect on accounting students’ ethical recognition and ethical intentions. Furthermore, this study found the ability of accounting students to recognise ethical problem positively affects their ethical judgement ability. It also found the ethical judgement of accounting students in Indonesia positively affects their ethical intention. This study found that female accounting students had a significantly higher score on intrinsic religiosity compared to male accounting students. Meanwhile, male accounting students had a higher score on peer influence compared to female accounting students. Furthermore, this study found that Islamic accounting schools’ students have a higher degree of extrinsic religiosity and family influence compared to accounting students from secular universities and Islamic universities. Meanwhile, accounting schools of Islamic universities had a higher degree of peer influence compared to students of secular universities and Islamic accounting schools. This study found the effect of ethical recognition as a mediating variable on the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and ethical judgement. Furthermore, it found the effect of ethical judgement as a mediating variable on the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and ethical intention. This study has suggested accounting schools to put more emphasis on developing intrinsic religiosity, internal LOC, and ethical judgement in training their students to nurture ethical accountants.

Additional Information

Doctor of Business Administration

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2201 Applied Ethics
Current > Division/Research > Graduate School of Business
Current > Division/Research > VU School of Business
Keywords accountants; accounting students; ethical decision making; religion; religiosity; locus of control; peer influence; family influence; gender; university affiliations; Indonesia; structural equation modelling
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