Business Ethics and Accounting Students: Australia, South Asia and East Asia

Soheila Mirskehary, Ali Yaftian, Guneratne Wickremasinghe


Recent corporate collapses around the world show that there are no national boundaries for these occurrences. Australian corporate collapses including HIH Insurance, One.Tel, Ansett Australia and Harris Scarfe have raised public expectations of investigation of the causes of collapses (Mirshekary, Yaftian & Cross, 2005). The main reason for the collapse of HIH was mismanagement, with an emphasis more on the directors’ personal qualities such as integrity, honesty and morality rather than tougher legislation and rules. Accounting students are our future business leaders. The teaching of ethics in the classroom to multicultural groups of students provides an opportunity to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, and to increase interaction and debate around different approaches to ethics among students from different countries.


This study uses previous literature to explain the attitudes of accounting students towards academic and business/accounting ethics at an Australian university which is a multi-campus institution undertaking programs and activities at regional, national, international levels and by distance education.

This study reports the results of cross-cultural investigations of students’ ethical perceptions on moral values, academic and accounting/business vignettes, given that all students share the same learning opportunities, knowledge of ethics and interaction with their peers and lecturers. The results indicate no significant differences in responses between the students from Australia, South Asia and East Asia.


Keywords: Business ethics, Accounting students, Distance education, MANOVA

JEL Classifications: M41, M49, M40

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Asian Journal of Finance & Accounting ISSN 1946-052X


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