Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. John Sargent

Second Advisor

Dr. Hale Kaynak

Third Advisor

Dr. Evelyn Hume


Despite the amount of accounting ethics research conducted over many years, two significant problems remain unsolved. First, there is a need to create accurate measurement instruments capable of predicting behavior within a theoretical framework of ethical decision-making. Second, it is important to develop ways to make measurements appropriate for application in other cultures or countries. Thus, the purpose of this study is twofold. The first objective is to develop a scale to measure the ethical evaluations, judgments, and intentions of Latin American accountants. The second goal is to determine the effects of national culture and gender on the results posited by the proposed ethical decision-making model.

The results of the study provide strong evidence of the relationship between culture and ethics. They provide robust evidence to support the first two hypotheses pointing the usefulness of the Multidimensional Ethics Scale (MES) to explain the ethical evaluations, judgment and intentions of respondents in a cross-cultural context. Findings provide evidence to partially support the influence of masculine orientation and gender in the ethical intentions and provide evidence to discard that they influence the ethical judgment, suggesting that respondents use different evaluative criteria to make the judgment or take an action. Results suggest that the effect of masculine orientation and gender in ethical behavior is situation specific. In some circumstances, male or masculine persons are more willing to act unethically than female or feminine individuals.

This study contribute to accounting ethics literature by (1) offering additional evidence of the link between ethics and culture; (2) developing a multidimensional ethics scale that explains and predicts the ethical judgments and intentions of Latin American accountants; (3) identifying differences among Latin Americans that may be significant, even when individuals share the same culture; (4) providing useful information regarding the future accountants of 10 Latin American countries; and (5) providing other researchers with a reliable measurement instrument for further research.


Copyright 2006 Silvia Lopez Palau. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Accounting Commons