To measure what is ethically important in the decisionmakingprocess for auditors as managers : the development of a multidimensional instrument

University essay from Högskolan Kristianstad/Sektionen för hälsa och samhälle


The article develops a multidimensional scale that measures to what extent different moral philosophical dimensions influence auditors’ decision-making in their managerial role. An additional aim was to explore if auditors perceive differences in the ethical decision-making process as managers and as auditors. The scale was developed based

on eight ethical dimensions from a priori theory. The scale was converted into a webbased questionnaire and sent to Swedish authorised auditors. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to test the scale, since it is a suitable method for scale development and early stages of research. The EFA indicates a five-dimensional scale; however, the eight-dimensional scale is to some extent supported, since two of the five dimensions, both connected to duties, are multidimensional in themselves. Hence, the study implies that the concept of duty is a wider concept in the auditing context than in moral philosophical theory, which could be explained by the nature of the profession and that auditors do not perceive a difference between the managerial and auditing role. However, since the study is limited to the Swedish auditing context, the scale needs to be tested in other geographical and cultural contexts. Other implications and suggestions for further research are also presented.

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