Chapter 11 Ethics, Moral Philosophy and Accounting and Finance Research
Published: September 2016
Component type: chapter
Published in: Research Methods for Accounting and Finance
Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-88-3-3090
Within this chapter, we introduce you to the notion of ethics and moral philosophy and its importance to everyday life. We begin by first considering what ethics is and why it’s important. This is then followed with examples that demonstrate questionable ethical and moral behaviour from both research and professional practice. We deliberately draw in both as the outputs of research also inform the corporate world, the activities of which affect society as a whole. Following this we introduce a selection of key moral philosophies and their application to academic and professional practice within accounting and finance. The chapter includes examples of important issues that require careful reflections and consideration when determining approaches to data gathering and ensuring professional integrity. Finally, some practical advice and the fundamental principles of good research conduct and codes of ethics are put forward.
- Audrey Paterson, Heriot-Watt University (Author)
- David Leung, Heriot-Watt University (Author) http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8384-3032
- William Jackson, Heriot-Watt University (Author)
For the source title:
- Audrey Paterson, Heriot-Watt University, UK (Editor) http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9307-5471
- David Leung, Coventry University, UK (Editor)
- William (Bill) Jackson, Heriot-Watt University, UK (Editor) http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8384-3032
- Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University, UK (Editor) http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7333-0201
- Kevin D O'Gorman, Heriot-Watt University, UK (Editor) http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6239-6619
Paterson, Leung & Jackson, 2016
Paterson, A., Leung, D. & Jackson, W. (2016) "Chapter 11 Ethics, Moral Philosophy and Accounting and Finance Research" In: Paterson, A., Leung, D., Jackson, W.(., MacIntosh, R. & O'Gorman, K.D. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-88-3-3218
ACCA, (2015) Section 3: Code of Ethics and Conduct, Rulebook, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Available at: www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/ACCA_Global/Members/Doc/rule/acca-rulebook-2015.pdf
ACCA (n.d) Tesco scandal – the perils of aggressive accounting. http://www.accaglobal.com/zm/en/student/sa/features/tesco-scandal.html
Adams, A., and Angus, R., (2015), Ethics in the City, The Journal of the CFA Society of the UK, www.cfauk.org
Addady, M., (2015), Toshiba's accounting scandal is much worse than we thought, Fortune Magazine, Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/09/08/toshiba-accounting-scandal/
ACT Brazil, (2014), Maybe, You're the Target: New Global Marlboro Campaign Found to Target Teens, Alliance for the Control of Tobacco Use, Brazil, Available at: http://www.fctc.org/images/stories/Report_Youre_the_Target.pdf
Anderson, L., (2014, Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto? Modern Farmer, http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/monsantos-good-bad-pr-problem/
Aras, G., and Crowther, D., (2012), Governance and Social Responsibility: International Perspective, Palgrave, Basingstoke.
Baden-Mayer, A., (2015), 15 health related problems linked to Monsanto, Eco Watch, Available at: http://www.ecowatch.com/15-health-problems-linked-to-monsantos-roundup-1882002128.html
Bazerman, M.H., and Tenbrunsel, A.E., (2011), Ethical breakdowns, Harvard Business Review, Available at: https://hbr.org/2011/04/ethical-breakdowns
BERA, (2011), Ethical guidelines for educational research, British Educational Research Association, Available at: www.bera.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/BERA-Ethical-Guidelines-2011.pdf
Boatright, J.R, (2003), Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 4th edition, Prentice Hall, London.
Borzekowski, D.L.G., and Cohen, J.E., (2013), International reach of tobacco marketing among young children, Paediatrics, 132, 825- 831. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-1150
BPS, (2014), Code of Human Research Ethics, British Psychological Society, Available at: www.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/inf180_web.pdf
BSA, (2002), Statement of Ethical Practice for the British Sociological Association, British Sociological Association, Available at: www.britsoc.co.uk/media/27107/StatementofEthicalPractice.pdf
Bucholz, R. A. (1989), Fundamental Concepts and Problems in Business Ethics, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Bulmer, M., (1982), Social Research Ethics: An examination of the merits of covert participant observation. Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-16725-8
CABS, (2015) Ethics Guide: Advice and Guidance, Chartered Association of Business Schools. Available at: charteredabs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Ethics-Guide-2015-Advice-and-Guidance.pdf
CIMA, (2015), Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Available at: www.cimaglobal.com/Professional-ethics/Ethics/CIMA-code-of-ethics-for-professional-accountants/
Clikeman, P.M., (2013), Called to Account: Financial Frauds that Shaped the Accounting Profession, Routledge, London.
Chryssides, G.D., and Kaler, J.H., (1993), An Introduction to Business Ethics, Chapman & Hall, London.
Dellaportas, S., Gibson, K., Alagiah, R., Hutchinson, M., Leung, P., and Van Homrigh, D., (2005), Ethics, Governance & Accountability: A professional perspective, Wiley, Sydney, Australia.
Denscombe, M., (2002), Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers, Open University Press, Buckingham and Philadelphia.
Douglas, J. D., (1976). Investigative Social Research: Individual and Team Field Research, Sage, London
Erikson, K., (1967). A comment on disguised observation in Sociology. Social Problems, 14, 366-373. https://doi.org/10.2307/798850
ESRC, (2015), Framework for research ethics, Economic and Social Research Council, Available at: www.esrc.ac.uk/files/funding/guidance-for-applicants/esrc-framework-for-research-ethics-2015
Folger, T., (2013), The next Green Revolution, National Geographic Magazine, Available at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/green-revolution/
Fridlund, A. J., Beck, H. P., Goldie, W. D., and Irons, G., (2012), Little Albert: A neurologically impaired child, History of Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026720
Galliher, J.F., (1973), The Protection of Human Subjects: A re-examination of the Professional Code of Ethics, The American Sociologist, 8(3), 93 100.
Gilligan, C., (1982), In a different voice: psychological theory and women's development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, Available at: https://hbr.org/2011/04/ethical-breakdowns
Gray, R., Owen, D., and Adams, C., Accounting and Accountability: Changes and challenges in corporate social and environmental reporting, Prentice Hall, Harlow, England.
Gurian-Sherman. D., (2009), Failure to yield: Evaluating the performance of genetically modified crops, Union of Concerned Scientists, Available at: http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/failure-to-yield.pdf
Helliar, C., and Bebbington, J., (2004), Taking Ethics to Heart, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Monograph, Edinburgh.
Hockridge, E., and Tomlinson, I., (2010), Warning shot, Available:http://www.warmwell.com/farming_of103-warningshot.pdf
Horowitz, I.L., (1967), The rise and fall of Project Camelot: Studies in the relationship between social science and practical politics, The Hispanic American Historical Review, 49 (1), 116-118.
International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (2015), Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, International Federation of Accountants, Available at: www.ethicsboard.org
ILRF, (2005), The 14 Worst Corporate Evildoers, International Labour Rights Forum, http://www.laborrights.org/in-the-news/14-worst-corporate-evildoers
Leeson, N. (n.d.) http://www.nickleeson.com/
Montsano (n.d.) Who we are, http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/our-commitments.aspx
MacIntyre, A.D., (1998). A Short History of Ethics: A History of Moral Philosophy From the Homeric Age to the Twentieth Century. Routledge, UK.
McMillan, K., and Weyers, J., (2008), How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports, Pearson, London.
O'Connell, V., (2008), Philip Morris readies aggressive global push, The Wall Street Journal, Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120156034185223519
Reynolds, P.D., (1982), Moral judgements: strategies for analysis with application to covert participant observation. In: Bulmer, M., ed, Social Research Ethics: An examination of the merits of covert participant observation. London: Macmillan, pp. 185-213. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-16725-8_11
Richards, J., Wimalasena, L. and MacLean, G., (2015), Managing ethics in research projects, in O'Gorman, K. and MacIntosh, R. (eds.) (2015), Research Methods for Business & Management: A Guide to Writing Your Dissertation, 2nd edition, Goodfellow, Oxford.
Robinson, D., and Garratt, C., (1988), Introducing Ethics, Cambridge: Icon Books.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., (2012), Research Methods for Business Students, 6th edition, Pearson, Harlow.
Scott, Sir, W., (1808), Marmion, Canto VI, Stanza 17, Available at: http://izquotes.com/author/walter-scott
Singer, P., (1994), Ethics, Oxford Reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
SRA, (2003), Ethical Guidelines, Social Research Association, Available at: the-sra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ethics03.pdf
Thomas, W.C., (2002), The Rise and Fall of Enron: When a company looks too good to be true, it usually is, Journal of Accountancy, Available at: http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2002/apr/theriseandfallofenron.html
UK Research Integrity Office (n.d.) Code of Practice for Research. http://ukrio.org/publications/code-of-practice-for-research/
Want, C., and Klimowski, A., (1996), Introducing Kant, Cambridge: Icon Books.
Watson, J.B., and Rayner, R., (1920), Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0069608
Winter, G., (2001), Enticing Third World youth: Big tobacco is accused of crossing an age line, New York Times, August 24th, Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/24/business/enticing-third-world-youth-big-tobacco-is-accused-of-crossing-an-age-line.html