Demographics and Ethical Dilemma in the Accounting Profession: The Gender Paradigm (Published)
This study examined the influence of the gender demographic variable on ethical behaviour arising from the lack of conclusive evidence on whether gender really counts. The study was premised on the relativity and attribution theories of human behaviour. Modelled after the survey design, primary data was obtained via a structure research data collection instrument administered to both accounting trainees and practitioners. Of one hundred and fifteen questionnaires administered to these two categories of respondents, ninety-five were completed and returned, which were analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential operationalized via the e-views 7 platform. The findings of this study revealed that gender has a negative effect on ethics using the accounting student’s data, while a positive effect is observed using the practicing accountant’s data. This observation amongst practitioners about the influence of gender attribute may not be unconnected with the pressure arising from the need to meet up with growing financial responsibilities for the male gender upon coming of age as stereotyped by our culture. However, both effects were significant at five percent level. This is quite informative as it is reflective of the circumstantial differences in the background of the two respondent groups. What this implies is that if accounting educators and professional bodies build confidence and ethical capacity early enough, in would be accounting practitioners, it might lead to reduced dysfunctional behaviour at work. Therefore, the study recommends early behaviour modification modelling for ethical conduct. The implications of this findings are therefore far reaching, thus the need to interrogate the place of age and marital status in determining ethical dilemma.
Keywords: Ethical behaviour, Ethics, Professional behaviour, accounting ethics