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Importance of and approaches to incorporating ethics into the accounting classroom

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Accounting educators are being called on to provide a greater emphasis on ethics education. This paper examines three important issues concerning ethics education in accounting. First, the question of whether ethics can indeed be taught is examined. Next, several innovative approaches are presented which have been used by accounting educators to integrate ethics into the classroom. Finally, results of a survey of students concerning their perspectives of ethical issues in accounting education, the accounting profession, and society at large are presented and discussed. Survey results reveal that students consider a lack of ethics damaging to the accounting profession and society. Results also indicate that accounting students are seeking ethical and moral direction.

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David S. Kerr is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accounting at Texas A&M University. Dr. Kerr's research interests include ethics and behavioral decision making in accounting, group judgment/decision making, and audit planning.

L. Murphy Smith, is a Price Waterhouse Teaching Excellence Professor of Accounting at Texas A&M University. His major research interests are information systems, auditing, and international issues.

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Kerr, D.S., Smith, L.M. Importance of and approaches to incorporating ethics into the accounting classroom. J Bus Ethics 14, 987–995 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00872114

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