Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 1, pp 59–76 | Cite as

A Comparison of Personal Values of Chinese Accounting Practitioners and Students

  • George Lan
  • Zhenzhong Ma
  • JianAn Cao
  • He Zhang


This study examines the personal values and value types of Chinese accounting practitioners and students, using the values survey questionnaire developed and validated by Schwartz (1992, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25, 1–65). A total of 454 accounting practitioners and 126 graduate accounting students participated in the study. The results show that Healthy, Family Security, Self-Respect, and Honoring of Parents and Elders are the top four values for both accounting practitioners and accounting students, although these values are not ranked in the same order. Social Power, An Exciting Life, Devout, and Accepting My Portion in Life are the lowest rated four values for the accounting practitioners whereas Devout, An Exciting Life, Detachment, and Accepting My Portion in Life form the bottom four values for the accounting students. Both accounting practitioners and students ranked Security as the highest value type and Tradition as the lowest one, and the students rated Self-Direction as significantly more important than the practitioners. With respect to gender differences, both the male accounting practitioners and students rated the value type Achievement significantly higher than their female counterparts and there were several significant gender differences in personal values for both accounting practitioners and students. In addition, the perceived values are linked to social and cultural factors as well as to the influence of Western values.


personal values value types Chinese accounting practitioners and students Schwartz values questionnaire social and cultural factors 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant #: 70471038 and by an Odette Research and Teaching Innovation Fund from the University of Windsor, Canada. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Lan
    • 1
  • Zhenzhong Ma
    • 1
  • JianAn Cao
    • 2
  • He Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Odette School of BusinessUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.School of ManagementXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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