Authors

Sarah Stokowski

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The accounting field holds a background in ethical understanding to be of great importance. The purpose of this project was to investigate the extent to which ethics education is emphasized and implemented within the business, and specifically accounting, curricula of US collegiate level institutions. Course curricula from a sample of 445 AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited business programs in the US were examined for their emphasis on ethics education. This emphasis was quantified through a novel measurement, the Ethics Education Index, which is an originally constructed weighted measure of the number of stand-alone courses dealing with ethics in accounting and business programs as well as the frequency of ethical terminology used as descriptors within course catalog offerings and within each schools’ mission statement of the 2015-2016 course catalogs. From this data, the measures of the Ethics Education Index were standardized and then compared with various school categorical characteristics, including religious affiliation, number of undergraduate students and faculty, private vs. public institution, male or female dean, and US region, to be analyzed for any relationship between these variables. Prior hypotheses were made in relation to the correlations with the Ethics Education Index. Results and conclusions were drawn to determine the impact of the categorical variables on the Ethics Education Index score of the colleges and universities studied.