An Examination of the Differences in Ethical Perceptions between Accounting and Non-Accounting Students in Singapore
This paper seeks greater understanding as to whether there are differences in ethical values between accounting, non-accounting, and non-business students in an Asian environment. In addition, differences between genders were also examined. While studies have been conducted involving United States students, very little if any research has been done examining ethics among Asian accounting students. Between the accounting and non-accounting students, not enough evidence was found to suggest a significant difference in ethical perceptions across all the constructs. Unexpectedly, when examining the aggregate means, many times non-accounting students perceived certain actions to be less ethical than accounting students. The result from examining accounting and non-business students found significant differences in ethical perceptions across most of the ethical cases. In addition, when examining the aggregate means, accounting majors tended to score higher in the appropriate direction indicating more ethical views than engineering students. This study also found enough support to suggest that gender differences exists for all students. However, examining accounting male and accounting female students, there were not enough evidence to support the hypothesis that difference exist. It is possible that the gap in ethical reasoning between male and female might be reduced if ethics is included in accounting curriculum. In addition, examining the aggregate means between the genders along all the cases and ethical judgments, female students consistently displayed a higher level of ethical perception than male counterparts.

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