Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Ethical Blind Spots and Accounting

  • Krista FiolleauEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_360-1



Accounting scandals are often blamed on accounting professionals’ ethical lapses caused by self-interest and deficiencies in ethical judgments. In some cases, these scandals have resulted in significant loss of confidence in the accounting profession and also in the demise of one of the top five international accounting firms, Arthur Andersen. Failures to act ethically can result from individuals who consciously ignore ethical considerations in favor of self-interest but may also result from their inability to recognize the ethical implications of their decisions, known as ethical blindness.

Ethical blindness (Palazzo et al. 2012) occurs when decision-makers are blind to the ethical dimension of their decision. This may occur due to contextual or decision factors that obscure ethical issues from decision-makers, allowing them to act unethically without being aware of it. This article applies the concept of ethical...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, School of Accounting and FinanceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sally Gunz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooOntarioCanada