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Who's in Control?: On the relationship between locus of control and the influence of unethical authority

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The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between locus of control and the influence of an unethical authority figure. This research is a preliminary, exploratory study given research design limits. It was hypothesized that subjects oriented towards

The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between locus of control and the influence of an unethical authority figure. This research is a preliminary, exploratory study given research design limits. It was hypothesized that subjects oriented towards internal locus of control are better able to resist pressure from an unethical authority figure. Subjects oriented towards the powerful others and chance orientations were hypothesized to be less able to resist pressure from an unethical authority figure. The results found that the presence of an unethical authority figure had little to no influence on self-perceived unethical decision-making; the difference in unethical behavior between cases with an authority figure present and without one present was not statistically significant. Further, no support was found for the hypotheses as no statistically significant relationship between locus of control orientations and the difference between the control case and test case was found (R2 = 0.02, model P-value > 0.05). Further analysis confirmed the results of Detert et al. (2008), finding no relationship between survey subjects’ locus of control orientations and unethical decision-making. Additional analysis indicates a relationship between unethical decision-making and gender (B = -5.14, P = 0.03, P < 0.05), providing some interesting avenues for future research.

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2020-05

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WPC 101: Ethics Curriculum

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At a time when the national and world community is viewing collegiate business programs as complicit in many recent business scandals rooted in ethical violations and breaches of trust, improving ethics education is a high priority. Review of current research

At a time when the national and world community is viewing collegiate business programs as complicit in many recent business scandals rooted in ethical violations and breaches of trust, improving ethics education is a high priority. Review of current research on techniques for effectively teaching ethics highlights the importance of incorporating conversational learning, decision models, and relevant, personalized case discussions into undergraduate ethics lessons. Focusing exclusively on ethics education in the first-year business seminar WPC 101, we evaluated the current ethics/academic integrity module and found it to be lacking many research-supported techniques. To develop an updated curriculum, we first used the EthicsGame Ethical Lens Inventory in a survey of 114 W. P. Carey students to explore whether a connection between students' majors and primary ethical lenses would demonstrate the effectiveness of designing different, tailored ethics curricula for students in each major. Regression analysis of the survey responses indicated that this research was inconclusive for every major except for Accountancy, which already has a specific (upper-division) ethics course. This initial research stage led to the creation of a universally applicable ethics curriculum based on the Baird Decision Model. Incorporating techniques from the literature review, the new WPC 101 Academic Honesty & Ethics curriculum includes a presentation on the Baird Decision Model, a small-group discussion of a relevant ethical dilemma, and a class role play. The curriculum additionally includes detailed Facilitator Guidelines for educators. The curriculum was piloted in WPC 101 classes during Spring 2016, and we present student and facilitator feedback as well as suggestions for further research and improvement. Use of this research-backed curriculum and further study into its impact on student decision making will allow W. P. Carey to continue advancing in pursuit of training students to be effective ethical leaders.

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2016-05

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Scandal: An Ethics Game on the Importance of Accurate GAAP and FASB Reporting for Public Corporations

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Financial statements are one of the most important, if not the most important, documents for investors. These statements are prepared quarterly and yearly by the company accounting department, and are then audited in detail by a large external accounting firm.

Financial statements are one of the most important, if not the most important, documents for investors. These statements are prepared quarterly and yearly by the company accounting department, and are then audited in detail by a large external accounting firm. Investors use these documents to determine the value of the company, and trust that the company was truthful in its statements, and the auditing firm correctly audited the company's financial statements for any mistakes in their books and balances. Mistakes on a company's financial statements can be costly. However, financial fraud on the statements can be outright disastrous. Penalties for accounting fraud can include individual lifetime prison sentences, as well as company fines for billions of dollars. As students in the accounting major, it is our responsibility to ensure that financial statements are accurate and truthful to protect ourselves, other stakeholders, and the companies we work for. This ethics game takes the stories of Enron, WorldCom, and Lehman Brothers and uses them to help students identify financial fraud and how it can be prevented, as well as the consequences behind unethical decisions in financial reporting. The Enron scandal involved CEO Kenneth Lay and his predecessor Jeffery Skilling hiding losses in their financial statements with the help of their auditing firm, Arthur Andersen. Enron collapsed in 2002, and Lay was sentenced to 45 years in prison with his conspirator Skilling sentenced to 24 years in prison. In the WorldCom scandal, CEO Bernard "Bernie" Ebbers booked line costs as capital expenses (overstating WorldCom's assets), and created fraudulent accounts to inflate revenue and WorldCom's profit. Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison and lost his title as WorldCom's Chief Executive Officer. Lehman Brothers took advantage of a loophole in accounting procedure Repo 105, that let the firm hide $50 billion in profits. No one at Lehman Brothers was sentenced to jail since the transaction was technically considered legal, but Lehman was the largest investment bank to fail and the only large financial institution that was not bailed out by the U.S. government.

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2016-05

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Should Marijuana Be?

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Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States with over two million pounds seized annually and with a usage rate estimated at 19.8 million people in 2013 (SAMSHA, 2014). Currently there is a nationwide movement for

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States with over two million pounds seized annually and with a usage rate estimated at 19.8 million people in 2013 (SAMSHA, 2014). Currently there is a nationwide movement for the legalization of recreational marijuana via referendum at the state level. Three states and the District of Columbia have already adopted amendments legalizing marijuana and over a dozen more currently have pending ballots. This report explores what would be the impact of legalizing marijuana in Arizona through the examination of data from Colorado and other governmental sources. Using a benefit/cost analysis the data is used to determine what the effect the legalization of marijuana would have in Arizona. I next examined the moral arguments for legalization. Finally I propose a recommendation for how the issue of the legalization of recreational marijuana should be approached in Arizona.

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2015-05

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Whistleblowing and Ethics Education: Can It Make a Difference?

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As an accounting major entering the field of financial auditing, I have learned how important the understanding and knowledge of ethics are. I have also learned how often there are grey areas that can cause a generally honest and ethical

As an accounting major entering the field of financial auditing, I have learned how important the understanding and knowledge of ethics are. I have also learned how often there are grey areas that can cause a generally honest and ethical person to make a not-so-ethical choice. Due to the prevalence and difficulty of such situations involving ethical matters in the workplace, legislation has been put in place such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act. I believe the knowledge of such legislation combined with a knowledge of ethical skepticism can not only better the accounting industry, but better the business industry as a whole. This belief led to conducting this study, which aims to identify the impact of whistleblowing and ethics education on undergraduate business students and their likelihood to blow the whistle and analyze ethically ambiguous scenarios with greater skepticism. Through a survey including true or false questions and ethically ambiguous scenarios to be rated on a Likert scale, data was gathered for analysis. Data was divided into three groups for response comparison: accountancy students with Accounting 360: Ethics for Professional Accountants (ACC 360) complete, accounting students with ACC 360 incomplete, and non-accountancy students without ACC 360. The analysis provided some statistically significant responses where students who had completed an accounting ethics course were more likely to blow the whistle and rate a scenario as unethical over students who had not completed the course. However, following survey analysis and research on prior studies, further research is needed to determine more definitively the impact of such education. The data analysis and overall research collected allowed me to form conclusions on whistleblowing and ethics education in undergraduate studies. With the prevalence of ethical dilemmas and fraudulent behavior in the workplace, such a constructive ethical framework and whistleblowing behavior can be taught to improve the likelihood of blowing the whistle and determining ethical dilemmas as unethical. This leads to the proposal that all business students, not just accountancy students, be required to complete a business ethics course for the betterment of our professional careers.

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2018-05

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A Study on Occupational Fraud within Small Businesses

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The main goal of this study was to understand the awareness of small business owners regarding occupational fraud, meaning fraud committed from within an organization. A survey/questionnaire was used to gather insight into the knowledge and perceptions of small business

The main goal of this study was to understand the awareness of small business owners regarding occupational fraud, meaning fraud committed from within an organization. A survey/questionnaire was used to gather insight into the knowledge and perceptions of small business owners, while also obtaining information about the history of fraud and the internal controls within their business. Twenty-four owners of businesses with less than 100 employees participated in the study. The results suggest that small business owners overestimate their knowledge regarding internal controls and occupational fraud, while also underestimating the risk of fraud within their own business. In fact, 92% of participants were not at all familiar with the popular Internal Control \u2014 Integrated Framework published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. The results also show that small business owners tend to overestimate the protection provided by their currently implemented controls in regard to their risk of fraud. Overall, through continued knowledge of internal controls and occupational fraud, business owners can better protect their businesses from the risk of occupational fraud by increasing their awareness of fraud.

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2014-05

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Internal Controls at a Startup Yoga Studio: No Flexible Matter

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Within this paper I summarize the key features, and results, of research conducted to support the development, design, and implementation of an internal control system at a startup small business. These efforts were conducted for an Honors Thesis/Creative Project for

Within this paper I summarize the key features, and results, of research conducted to support the development, design, and implementation of an internal control system at a startup small business. These efforts were conducted for an Honors Thesis/Creative Project for Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. The research revolved around deciding which financial policies, procedures, and safeguards could be useful in creating an internal control system for small businesses. In addition to academic research, I developed an “Internal Control Questionnaire” for use as a ‘jumping off point’ in conversations about a business’ existing accounting system. This questionnaire is applicable across many industries, covering the major topics which every small business/startup should consider.

The questionnaire was then used in conjunction with two interviews of small business owners. The interviews covered both the overall financial status of their business and their business’ pre-existing accounting system. The feedback received during these interviews was subsequently used to provide the business owners with eleven recommendations ranging from the implementation of new policies to verification of existing internal controls.

Finally, I summarize my findings, both academic and real-world, conveying that many small business owners do not implement formal internal control systems. I also discuss why the business owners, in this specific circumstance, did not yet implement the aforementioned eleven suggestions.

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2019-05