Beyond Grey Pinstripes


Faculty Research


Unauthorized Electronic Access: Students’ Ethics, Attitudes and Actions

Universities are expected to prepare accounting students to conduct themselves with integrity in all environments, including those that utilize information technology (IT). Our study investigates student integrity in an online environment to determine if students are honest about accessing unauthorized Internet solutions. We then evaluate student responsiveness to interventions designed to discourage unauthorized access using techniques suggested by the literature to foster ethical behavior. Our examination of such factors as moral development, moral identity, age, gender, and grade point average finds no significant relationship with student ethical behavior. More problematic, classroom interventions proved ineffective in preventing students from accessing unauthorized online solutions. We conclude with suggestions for developing and encouraging ethical behavior among accounting students in IT learning environments.


Claire Lathan, Jane Cote

Journal Title: 

Advances in Accounting Education




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