Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

Accounting Student and Lecturer Ethical Behavior: Evidence from Indonesia

Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

Accounting Student and Lecturer Ethical Behavior: Evidence from Indonesia

Article excerpt


Research on ethical behavior has been conducted to understand human behavior in their environment. It became an issue in Indonesia since there are many issues related to accountant behavior in their professional role. This study provides empirical evidence on an ethical behavior issue related to accounting student and lecturers in a private university in Surabaya, East Java-Indonesia. We added a personal variable of gender and locus of control to identify how women differ from men. Women in Indonesia have been treated as second citizen, not only in education but also in the working environment. This has held despite efforts of emancipation undertaken for many years. The locus of control as an individual factor represents how individuals react to making decision. About half of 23 private universities in Surabaya and 548 respondents engaged in the survey. The universities were separated by accounting program accreditation. Using analysis of variance and Pearson correlation the result of this study show women's ethical attitudes were better than men's. Second, it was concluded that individuals with internal lotus of control are more reluctant to do unfair and unethical acts than individual with external locus of control. Finally, accounting programs with better accreditation revealed better ethical behavior, even though the difference was statistically insignificant.

JEL: M49

KEYWORDS: Ethical Behavior, Gender, Locus of Control.


Research in accounting ethics is growing rapidly throughout the world especially since the Enron case in 2002. In Indonesia, the issue of accounting ethics developed along with the occurrence of multiple violations of ethics involving the accounting profession. In public accounting, based on the accountability report of the Honorary Board of IAI (Institute of Indonesian Accountants) in 1990 - 1994 period, there were 53 public accountant cases of ethics violations (Husada, 1996). Other cases of unethical behavior are quite common. This paper addressed these issues by conducting research on ethical behavior in accounting education.

This research was built upon the work of Ameen et al (1996). It conducted a survey to identify the relationship between individual factors such gender with the willingness to tolerate unethical academic behavior. The result ascertained that female accounting students are more sensitive to ethical issues and less tolerant of unethical behavior than male students are. In this research, gender was chosen since there are some gender related issues in education in Indonesia. The condition and position of women in Indonesia still lags far behind men. The data showed that there were less female students in higher education and levels of illiteracy for women 5.3% higher than 2.7% in men (Pulungsih, 2007). There are a number of traditional cultural values in Indonesia that identify the main tasks of women in domestic positions. When the funding sources of a family are limited, the school should come first to the boy. Although the task of women is in the domestic area, they also must educate children and maintain the welfare of the family. Thus, women should remain knowledgeable for the task. Limitations of education and training opportunities for women by gender equality still require a more serious struggle. Even though female students are growing, discrimination against women remains a major problem (Ameen et al, 1996; McNicholas, 2004).

In this research, the work of Ameen, et al. (1996) was expanded by adding another individual factor locus of control. The potential link between the personality variable locus of control and ethical behavior has been reported by a number of studies (Cherry and Fraedrich, 2000; Rogers and Smith, 2001; Shapeero et al, 2003). The object of this study was also expanded on accounting lecturers. The addition of accounting lecturers as the object of this research is primarily due to their influence to the ethical behavior of accounting students (Khomsiyah and Indriantoro, 1998). …

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