Journal of Accounting and Management Information Systems (JAMIS)

Does accounting education develop ethical maturity? Evidence from Indonesia

Vol. 17, No. 3/2018 ,   p462..483

Irsyadillah Irsyadillah
Alhashmi Aboubaker Lasyoud

Keywords:   Accounting education, ethical maturity, Islamic values, Indonesia

Abstract:   The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence in relation to the ethical development of students studying accounting in Indonesia. To understand the development of these students’ ethical maturity, we examine their perspectives about the purpose of accounting and the objective of business. The paper reports on the results of four focus groups of accounting students who just completed an introductory financial accounting course. The Indonesian context is then used to frame the analysis of the focus groups. Insights from the focus groups reveal a strong notion that the perspectives of students studying accounting in Indonesia were solely influenced by ethical values of Anglo-American capitalism. The ethical values of prioritising shareholder interests over other stakeholders are generally accepted by these students as the nature of accounting and business. The finding suggests that accounting education does not only change the cultural values of students studying abroad in western countries as highlighted by previous studies, it also shapes the ethical values of accounting students educated at home. Thus, this paper concludes that accounting education in Indonesia does not develop students’ ethical maturity because they were only inculcated with a single perspective.